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National News / Entertainment

Wednesday, 5 August, 2009 1:52 AM

Grammy Museum features Michael Jackson and Motown memorabilia

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Crossroads, on the fourth floor, features touch-screen sensitive screens in which you can view photos and listen to music of all genres.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

(Quicktime Video)

LOS ANGELES -- The Grammy Museum opened in downtown Los Angeles in December 2008 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards. Attendance spiked following the death of Michael Jackson, since the museum is located right across the street from the Staples Center, where the former King of Pop's public memorial was held. The museum features gloves and outfits worn by the late singer. In addition, there are music videos playing within the various theaters of the building.

There are artifacts from Detroit's Motown Records in the building as well. There is a special section on Berry Gordy, who founded Motown Records. Motown musicians are featured on the crossroads touch-screen table where visitors can listen to music on headphones. The Motor City is also included on a curved wall called "music epicenters" where visitors can learn about the times and places where America's music was created and how it's changed.

"It's a really interactive, multimedia museum," said Katie Dunham, Public Relations Coordinator at the Grammy Museum. "You're not just looking at stuff on the wall. You're actually engaging with the music. We're the only large museum here in Los Angeles. We don't stick to one genre. We celebrate everything from hawaiian to death metal, motown, barbership, girl groups and christian rock, everything in between. We also highlight the creative process and the actual making of music."

The museum features four floors and 30,000 square feet of more than two dozen interactive, permanent and traveling exhibits. Guests will take an elevator from the ground floor to the top floor and then walk down stairs or take the elevator down to the next floor below. The museum also features a gift shop on the second floor.

"I think it's great, we decided to come here when we made our plans so I'm happy to be here," said Michelle Rivera, a museum visitor who came with her family from Corpus Christi, Tex. "Just good to see all the memorabilia and learn a little more than what we knew. With the recent passing of Michael Jackson, we're going to see that as well. We just actually came in and we tried the board with the soundtracks and the sound was great. That was fun. It's beautiful and I would recommend people to come see it because it seems very interesting."

The Grammy Museum holds over 300 unique artifacts including outfits worn by famous musicians such as Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonce. Museum visitors will also see Elvis's guitar, Pavarotti's tuxedo and artifacts from many other music genres. The Michael Jackson collection includes the original application he filled out to become a member of the recording academy.

"We had a larger Michael Jackson exhibit that was on display from February through June," Dunham said. "We were in the process of deinstalling it when we found out that Mr. Jackson had passed. We knew that we had the stuff so we wanted to share it with people. They had somewhere to come and enjoy his life. We put it back up. We've actually had a lot of interest. Michael touched so many people. So we've broken the attendance record about three different times since he died. The Michael Jackson stuff will definitely be on display through the summer, through his birthday and probably into next year. We're still determining where, we'll probably move it around and expand the exhibit a little bit."

There is a 200-seat sound stage included within the museum. Museum visitors can watch "The Making of a Grammy Moment", a collection of scenes from the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. The sound stage will also be used for interviews with musicians and album release parties.

"I think it's excellent, first-class," said Clint Graves, a museum visitor from Long Beach, Calif. "I only saw the fourth floor then came down to the third floor. When the Jackson memorial was done was when I first heard about it. So I thought I'll have to go someday. My daughter's in the music business so I've been telling her what it is. It's extremely well done. I also worked at Motown at one time. So I was surprised to see some of the footage I hadn't seen and didn't know about before. Anybody that's interested in music and seeing something well done, they should come and visit this."

On the fourth floor, visitors can explore the Grammy archives and Hall of Fame. The most recent year's winners will be honored in a display case. Artists who are included within the Grammy Hall of Fame or have won special merit awards are featured here. Also on the fourth floor is "artist voices: the creative world". Musicians will explain how music impacts them, their creative process and their music.

"I like it, we've only gone through one floor but it's been fun," said Courtney, a museum visitor from Tuscon, Ariz. "I'm excited to see Michael Jackson stuff. His music's great so it will be fun to look around. I liked 'Billie Jean' a lot. But I like everything by him for the most part."

The third floor is all about the recording process. Museum visitors will learn how music is created from ideas to the final distribution. Visitors will learn from the most famous producers, engineers and recording artists in this section of the museum. There is also a special area related to the Grammy Awards telecast, which includes artifacts, stories and film about the annual awards broadcast.

"I love it, I love it," said Tommy Beard, a museum visitor from Los Angeles. "They're missing one thing, they don't have the Grammy with my name on it. I looked all over, I couldn't find it. How the recording is done. That's the part I wanted to see. That's what interested me. I know it's evolving and changing. I'll be back as a member to continually support them."

The special exhibits gallery is located on the second floor. The current exhibit on display is "Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom", which explores the history of music and politics in America. It features over 100 artifacts from government archives and private collections. Included in this exhibit are the Dixie Chicks and their comments about former President George W. Bush.

"It's very nice, very interactive, I like it," said Benjamin, a museum visitor from Melborne, Australia. "The costumes. Looking forward to seeing some of his outfits [Michael Jackson's]. I like the lighting, it's quite nice and the interactive table over there, it's pretty cool."

The Grammy Museum is located at 800 W. Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily until September 7. After September 7, hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Sunday through Friday with Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Special ticket prices for the summer are $10 for adults, students, seniors, youth, and military. Children five and under and members receive free admission. Regular ticket prices are $14.95 for adults, $11.95 for students and seniors, $10.95 for youth and military.

Click here to visit the official website of the Grammy Museum.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Museum visitors will start their tour on the fourth floor right here.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Visitors can listen to almost every type of music imaginable with the touch-screen table.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Four pods with unique artifacts and images of America's most significant musical traditions: pop, folk, sacred, classical and jazz.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Selecting a type of music

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Genres of music move from left to right

 

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