by Kenny Green
Courtesy of Star Local Media
A new exhibit has opened up at the Balch Springs Library – Learning Center highlighting the work of Grammy-winning musician Art Greenhaw and Grammy nominee Dr. Larry “T-Byrd” Gordon. Gordon passed away in 2011.
“They were like brothers,” said Carrie Gordon, Balch Springs mayor and wife of Gordon.
The exhibit highlights their careers and their various collaborations over the years that included a Grammy nomination.
“Towards the end of 2009, we had talked about an exhibit of this kind in the city of Balch Springs. Art had gotten it displayed at the Dallas Public Library in downtown,” Carrie said. “It happened later, but it did happen. It took time, but it did happened.”
“The exhibit was made possible due to the dedication and vision of the Balch Springs library staff, particularly [Sandy Gallion] the library director,” Greenhaw said. “Their efforts were backed by the support of the Balch Springs City Council and the Texas Commission for the Arts.”
The pair first met at the Grammy Awards show in New York despite living only several miles apart for many years.
“It was just fate and destiny for us to meet. It was kismet,” Greenhaw said. “When I won the Grammy in 2003, as I was leaving the stage the Dixie Chicks, Tony Bennett and the Larry Gordon family all shook my hand. That’s how we met.”
Greenhaw said as part of the opening of the exhibit, he took a Grammy award with him to Cuellar Elementary School and provided the students with a chance to see a Grammy Award up close and take pictures with it.
“The kids were so excited to see the Grammy and pose with it. They were jumping up and down,” Greenhaw said. “It’s important for kids to get excited about music and to learn to play musical instruments. There have been studies that show some of the smartest kids play instruments. They teach them to focus.”
The exhibit officially kicked off with a performance from the Light Crust Doughboys at the Balch Springs Library – Learning Center on Feb. 23.
The exhibit features several items from the Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame and Museum. Greenhaw said he is waiting for the right location to come along to house the entire collection permanently.
“We just have to find the right location to house the full-blown museum,” he said. “It is something that could be a real tourist attraction in the right place.”
Greenhaw hopes the exhibit at the Balch Springs Public Library will allow visitors to see the story of some of the great music the area has produced.
“The exhibit not only talks about the life and career of Larry ‘T-Byrd’ Gordon, but it gives people a taste of it,” Greenhaw said. “He may be gone, but the hundreds of recordings he made will last forever.”
Greenhaw added that he considers Gordon the most important artist he has had on his record label, Greenhaw Records. The label also boasts Ann Margaret and Engelbert Humperdinck on its roster.
“I hope we can turn this exhibit into an annual celebration of the life and history of the music and recording career of Larry ‘T-Byrd’ Gordon,” Greenhaw said. “I am humble to have been a part of his recordings.”
Greenhaw said Gordon’s lifelong dream was to win a Grammy, which he almost won as a nominee for “Southern Meets Soul: An American Gospel Jubilee,” a collaboration with Greenhaw.
The exhibit will run through June 30.
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