“Images of Country,” backstage and up close

Johnny Cash and Billy Graham

Johnny Cash and Billy Graham, photo by Jim McGuire

Photographs from six decades of country music are the focus of a new show, which opened March 20 at the Baldwin Photographic Gallery.

“Images of Country” features photographs as seen through the lenses of three distinguished photographers: Harold Baldwin, Jim McGuire and Russ Harrington. The exhibit closes on April 17.

Retired photography Professor Harold Baldwin’s works were shot backstage at the Grand Ole Opry between 1969 and 1971. Baldwin established the photography program at MTSU 50 years ago, and the new gallery space was made possibly by a gift from Baldwin.

Nashville photographer Russ Harrington studied under Baldwin at MTSU. An album-cover shoot with Tricia Yearwood led to more than 600 covers of music stars. Harrington has captured revealing images of the world’s most-photographed musicians and performers, including Loretta Lynn, Jack White, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley. His portfolio features a who’s who of the music business – Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Al Green, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire are just a few.

Jim McGuire learned how to use a camera in Vietnam in the Air Force in 1964. Later, he began shooting bluegrass music festivals in northern Virginia, which led to shooting album covers. McGuire moved to Nashville in 1972, where he has spent years shooting covers for major labels and big stars like Marty Robbins, Barbara Mandrell, Waylon Jennings, and Bill Monroe — all out of a small storefront studio. His body of black-and-white images of musicians, now known as The Nashville Portraits, is one of his most satisfying achievements. TLE

Images of Country

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Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty, News

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