Oct 28, 2022 - Things to Do

"Power of Women in Country Music" opens at N.C. Museum of History

The entrance to The Power of Women in Country Music

Photo: Lucille Sherman/Axios

🎤 Howdy, friends. Lucille here.

North Carolina's Museum of History opens its Power of Women in Country Music exhibit Friday.

  • The show runs through Feb. 26 and is curated by the GRAMMY Museum.
  • I was lucky enough to preview the small but mighty collection of some of the most iconic female musicians' outfits, instruments and handwritten song lyrics yesterday.

I was staring at the dress Shania Twain wore in her "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" music video when I realized something I hadn't thought about before: As a little girl raised in Nashville and Oklahoma City, these are artists who shaped me and so many of the women I know.

This exhibit's showcasing of the women who boldly broke through a male-dominated industry unearthed some of my earliest memories.

  • My mom and I were belting "Goodbye Earl" by The Chicks on drives together when I was still in carseats.
  • Dolly Parton's trailblazing and enduring relevance is highlighted in a brief biography posted next to two of her dresses and custom banjo.
  • Spending several years of my childhood in Nashville meant I knew who Parton was long before I knew who was president.

One portion of the exhibit sheds light on the female artists who took center stage in the 2000s.

  • That transported me back to two years after my family moved to Oklahoma, when Carrie Underwood won "American Idol." Naturally, my cousin and I were obsessed after that. We were two little girls who wore being from the same state as Carrie Underwood like a badge of honor.
  • And it was wonderful learning about women of country music who have North Carolina roots: from Emmylou Harris to Caitlin Cary.
Three of Taylor Swift's most famous dresses.
A Kasey Musgraves dress, along with three of Taylor Swift's most famous dresses. Photo: Lucille Sherman/Axios

My favorite part was being reminded of how so many of these women — The Chicks, Parton, Twain, Loretta Lynn — pushed back on society's expectations of them. Even those of us who aren't female musicians stand on their shoulders.

  • And the artists who have emerged more recently — Kasey Musgrave, Brandi Carlile, Yola, Taylor Swift — are continuing that legacy.

The bottom line: Just go. I hope it transports you back to formative moments of your life, like it did for me.

Get the details here.


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