The National Museum of African American Music will open this year in Nashville amid the glow of neon-lit honky-tonks. But given the African roots of country music, such as the introduction of the banjo, the placement makes sense. Music City, after all, derives its nickname not only from country, but from the history of diverse music created in the city, from the Fisk Jubilee Singers to R&B along Jefferson Street, to rock and roll of course. âThere is music all over Nashville,â says Darius Rucker, who has signed on to be one of the museum’s national presidents. “When you get off the plane, you hear music.”
Rucker himself knows how to play across genres, going from being the lead singer and lead guitarist of multi-stage Hootie & the Blowfish to being a chart-topping country artist and first African-American with a number one country song since Charley Pride. . âIt will be very important,â Rucker says of the project, âwhen you can walk into a museum and read what might not be in the history books. ”
Rucker has long used his platform for good, focusing most of his efforts on âwhat we can do for kids,â he says. Its annual Darius and Friends concert at the Ryman Auditorium, as well as its golf tournament, has raised over $ 2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is also proud to help raise funds for the University of Medicine of South Carolina, Charleston, where his single mother worked as a nurse for over twenty-five years. âWe live in a big country,â he says. âTo see children growing up in disadvantage and growing up in poverty and not having muchâ¦ they are trying to make their way through life. I like to help them flourish as much as I can.
As the National Museum of African American Music develops programs for younger generations, Rucker’s causes for children and musical history will likely converge, another reason to sing.
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