March 18, 2006, - July 9, 2006 Opening Reception - March 17, 2006
"Traditional" country music stars of the 1950s and 1960s performed in marvelously gaudy garb, the rhinestone-laden likes of which never saw duty on southern farms or western cattle trails. Rather, the suits sprang from the creative mind of a North Hollywood Russian Jewish immigrant named Nudie. Country musicians also played some decidedly untraditional instruments: abalone-encrusted "dreadnaught" acoustic guitars created by German-speaking luthiers in Pennsylvania; steel guitars from Hawaii and the radical electric guitars designed by Fullerton's Leo Fender. Rhinestones and Twangin' Tones highlights an array of famed country stars' stage outfits and instruments, many worn on the Grand Ole Opry and stages around the world by the likes of Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner and others. The exhibit's items come largely from the extensive collection of Orange County country singer and entrepreneur Mac Yasuda.
Growing up in Japan, Mr. Yasuda became hooked on the sound and style of this exotic music. He went on to amass one of the world's greatest collections of guitars and Nudie suits, and as a performer he has appeared numerous times on the Opry.