Date Issued: September 26, 2018
“Our Muddy Waters Blues Historical Exhibit is a modest space that displays about 60 unique artifacts,” said Larry McIntyre, who created the museum in 2005, “but we have visitors from all over the world who come to Westmont every year to learn about the ‘Godfather of the Blues’ and the years he lived in our community.”
The Westmont Special Events Corporation (WSEC) office is home to the Muddy Waters display, located at 1 S. Cass Ave. Waters lived in Westmont from 1973 until he passed in 1983. This past year, the exhibit added an Eddy Clearwater display as well. Clearwater was also a former Westmont resident.
The WSEC recently loaned more than 20 artifacts to the DuPage County Historical Museum for their special exhibit title ‘DuPage Music Makers’. The new music exhibit explores the lives of popular musicians who lived in DuPage County and the impact they had on their respective genres both locally and beyond. The exhibit also looks at how the experience of listening to music has changed from the 19th century to the present day.
“Museum staff chose musicians as an exhibit topic because of the old instruments and music artifacts we had in our collection, but quickly realized that we couldn’t do such an exhibit without looking at popular artists with ties to DuPage County,” Museum Curator Zach Bishop said. “All of the artists we decided to feature were born in the twentieth century, so ‘DuPage Music Makers’ ended up being more contemporary than most exhibits we’ve done.”
Some famous and influential musicians included in the exhibit are Jim Peterik, of the bands Survivor and The Ides of March, who lives in Burr Ridge; The Plain White T’s, who were formed in Lombard; opera singer Sherill Milnes, who grew up in Downers Grove; folk artist Murial Anderson, who also grew up in Downers Grove; and Ronnie Platt of the band Kansas, who lives in Lombard.
Several artifacts associated with the Blues musicians Muddy Waters and Eddy Clearwater will be on display through a special loan with the Westmont Special Events Corporation, the Westmont Historical Society, and the musicians’ families and estates. The artifacts include performance costumes, albums, photos, and other memorabilia. However, the Muddy Waters Grammy Award remains on display in the WSEC exhibit at Westmont Centre.
The “DuPage Music Makers” exhibit also features loaned artifacts related to Ann Stewart and the Banjo Buddies Dixieland Jazz Band of Carol Stream. The Banjo Buddies have been playing Dixieland jazz music in the Chicagoland area since the 1970s. In the early days the band was particularly popular at political functions and played for three U.S. Presidents including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Today, they continue to play for every event imaginable from local and international festivals to concert halls, theme parks, grand openings, sport stadiums, cruises and countless private events including funerals.
“DuPage Music Makers” is on display now through July 29, 2019. For more information, visit dupagemuseum.org.
Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/Public Information Officer