The Texas Musicians Museum in Irving is now open, featuring music memorabilia from the likes of Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, and Janis Joplin.
Texas believes in going big on pretty much everything, and so the July 25 opening festivities for the Texas Musicians Museum in Irving—a little-town-that-could between Dallas and Fort Worth—will have the punch of live music. The all-day concert will feature the Gustavo Rodriguez Band and Holly Tucker from the 2013 season of the reality show “The Voice.”
Founded by music fan Tom Kreason and situated in an 18,000-square-foot building formerly housing a car dealership, the museum anchors the Irving Heritage Crossing District: both the TRE train station (servicing Dallas and Fort Worth) and the time-honored Big State Fountain Grill are handy.
The museum has all manner of memorabilia, spanning awards to stage outfits, from a wide array of Texas musicians and singers—and will feature both permanent and rotating exhibits. Buddy Holly’s stage outfits are displayed alongside Waylon Jennings’s boots and a Bob Wills fiddle. A vest worn by Willie Nelson is counter-pointed by the performing ensembles of Barbara Mandrell, Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin, and Beyoncé Knowles. In the main lobby is a 58-foot-tall rendition of an Eric Clapton guitar, once used for Clapton’s 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival at the Cotton Bowl.
Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne considers the museum an “integral part of our historic downtown redevelopment,” and a “new source of local pride.” Texas isn’t afraid to boast a bit, but so much great music has come from there—it's worth at least a dollop or two of local pride.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin.