See Brenda Lee's Rhinestones, Sequins & Crystals


Brenda Lee photo courtesy of

July 13, 2009 — Offstage, Brenda Mae Tarpley, a.k.a. Brenda Lee, is as down-to-earth as they come. But onstage, she's no stranger to glitz and glamour. Brenda Lee: Dynamite, Presented by Great American Country Television Network, is a biographical exhibit opening Friday, August 7, 2009, for a 10-month run in the Museum’s East Gallery. The exhibit will run through June 13, 2010.

Among the items you'll see in the exhibit:

* "Brenda Lee’s Life Story" comic book, published by Dell in 1962

* "Brenda Lee?The Paper Doll" set with miniature LPs and turntable, c. 1964

* Black gown with lace and sequin overlay and velvet ribbon trim, worn onstage by Brenda in the 1960s

* Certificate presented to Brenda to commemorate her November 2, 1964, performance for Queen Elizabeth II

* Lillie Rubin empire-waisted brocade evening dress with matching floor-length coat encrusted with pearls, bugle beads and rhinestones and trimmed with a fur collar and cuffs, worn by Brenda onstage c. 1970

* "Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree" diorama featuring Brenda in front of a hearth, surrounded by a Christmas tree and other holiday decorations

* A pair of Swarovski crystal-monogrammed sunglasses and a letter of congratulations given to Brenda by her friend Sir Elton John

* Numerous awards, including the plaque and medallion commemorating Brenda's 1997 election to the Country Music Hall of Fame; Lee’s 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame statuette; and Lee’s 2009 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award