State Historical Society Tunes into Missouri's Music History

Staff members of the State Historical Society of Missouri prepare for the opening reception of the new Music in Missouri exhibit Thursday in Columbia. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Underwood/Missourian.

Columbia Missourian–Blue-cheese-stuffed olives, crackers and red wine were surrounded by 23 glass panels Thursday evening at the opening of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s new exhibit, “Music in Missouri.”

The exhibit discusses Missouri’s footprint in music genres such as ragtime, St. Louis blues, Kansas City jazz, Ozark bluegrass and...

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  • Music in Missouri

    Aug
    04
    Aug 4 – Dec 18, 2020
    Where

    Center for Missouri Studies
    Wenneker Family Corridor Gallery, Second Floor
    605 Elm Street
    Columbia, MO 65201

    The Benny Sharp Band at the Gaslight Square District in St. Louis, 1962. [Thelma Blumberg Collection, S0402-4543]

    Where

    Center for Missouri Studies
    Wenneker Family Corridor Gallery, Second Floor
    605 Elm Street
    Columbia, MO 65201

    Music in Missouri explores Missouri’s contribution to American music. The state’s early folk musicians, marching bands, and choral societies inspired the birth of ragtime and then overlapped with the evolution of a new brand of blues in St. Louis. Those emerging styles then intersected with an explosion of new jazz in Kansas City, at the same time that Ozark bluegrass migrated northwards and entered this melting pot of rhythm to help create rock n’ roll, rhythm and blues, modern country, and gospel. As viewers observe Missouri’s role in shaping American sound, they will also see the ways in which musical interactions broke down barriers—especially those based on race, gender, and region—and made Missouri a unique place for creativity, reinvention, and progress.