Just across the Otis Redding Memorial Bridge, near downtown Macon, is an underrated attraction: the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Unlike many music museums that focus on a single genre or record label -- rock 'n' roll, blues, country, Motown -- the Georgia Music Hall of Fame (www.georgiamusic.org) documents the scope and diversity of the state's musical talent.
It has inducted more than 100 individuals and groups since 1979, including Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynrd, Lena Horne, Chet Atkins, R.E.M., Gertrude ''Ma'' Rainey, the Allman Brothers Band, Gladys Knight, Little Richard, Travis Tritt and the Indigo Girls. Well-done exhibits tell the stories of rhythm and blues, gospel music, bluegrass, country, Southern rock, jazz, swing and a lot more.
In each exhibit, I put on headphones and listened to samples of the music. I checked out dresses worn onstage by Trisha Yearwood (a modest flowered dress she might have found at Macy's) and a singer in the B-52s (a flapper's dress in bold yellow with rows of fringe), James Brown's flashy red-sequined suit, and a white leather suit worn by J.R. Cobb of the Atlanta Rhythm Section only once, after it turned out to be too hot under stage lights.
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Otis Redding: I've Got Dreams to Remember is a temporary exhibit that opened a year ago and was recently extended to April 2009. It's a stirring exhibit on one of Macon's own, a comprehensive display of performance footage, records, photos, posters, hand-written lyrics and other memorabilia loaned to the Hall of Fame by Redding's widow.
I bought a CD with some of Redding's lesser known numbers, wrote down songs sung by Usher and Ronnie Milsap that I'd download from iTunes, and went on my way, appreciating Georgia's music a little more than I had the day before.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.