The Georgia Music Hall of Fame Exhibit at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

download-15The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was home to a Georgia Music Hall of Fame exhibit through April, 2005. Located in Concourse T of the Delta Terminal, the exhibit stretched over 300 feet. Like the state museum in Macon, the exhibit included performance outfits, photos, instruments and various career memorabilia of Georgia’s most cherished artists.

Many of the artifacts were never-before-seen materials from the museum’s archives, as well as  acquisitions from some of the featured artists. Some of the artists featured include Lena Horne, Otis Redding, Dr.Thomas Andrew Dorsey, Gladys Knight and the Pips, “Little Richard,” James Brown, Allman Brothers Band, the B-52’s, Indigo Girls, Alan Jackson, OutKast and the late Ray Charles. Charles’s black silk performance jacket and photo are included in the display.

Other items of interest include Brenda Lee’s dollhouse, Ronnie Milsap’s Braille Playboy magazine, Jerry Reed’s vest worn in Smokey and the Bandit and Robert Shaw’s conductor’s baton. There was also a case of Gretsch instruments containing 14 collectible guitars and Tony Williams’s drum set.

Over five million people traveled through the airport in a year. Even though the exhibit was limited to travelers with tickets, the exhibit received international exposure. With the international traffic Hartsfield-Jackson received on a daily basis, the exhibit not only received significant exposure, but it showcased the incredible Georgia music talent to people from all over the world. The exhibit was part of Hartsfield-Jackson’s Airport Arts Project.

The famed Gretsch Company also contributed extensively to the historical exhibit. The displayed a wealth of Gretsch artifacts and musical instruments at the Hartsfield-Jackson facility. The exhibit (set up by the Georgia Music Hall of Fame) could be found in Concourse T (the Delta Terminal) and included over 300 feet of the most memorable items.

Just like in the Macon State Museum, included the exhibit photos, instruments, performance outfits, and a wealth of career memorabilia of Georgia’s best loved artists. Some of the things on display at the Gretsch site included guitar models such as the Anniversary, White Falcon, Nashville, and guitars from the Artist Signature Series as Elliot Easton, Bo Diddley, and Brian Setzer Hot Rod. Also on display was an original drum kit from the Tony Williams Signature Series. Throughout the exhibit a historical documentary video was continuously displayed that encompassed the more than 120 years of “That Great Gretsch Sound”. 

Many of the shown artifacts were never-before-seen items from Georgia Music Hall of Fame’s archives, and also recently acquired materials from the featured artists were on display. A few of the highlighted artists were Lena Horne, Dr. Thomas Andrew Dorsey, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, ‘Little Richard’, The Allman Brothers Band, Alan Jackson, the B-52’s, OutKast, Indigo Girls, and Ray Charles. Also Ray Charles’s silk black performance jacket and the famous photo of the costume were on display. Some of the other interesting materials included the dollhouse of Brenda Lee, Ronnie Milsap’s braille Playboy Magazine, the conductor baton of Robert Shaw, and the vest that Jerry Reed wore in ‘Smokey and the Bandit’. In total there were 114 collectible vintage Gretsch guitars on display and a drum set used by Tony Williams.