The State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois

April 30, 2021 - January 23, 2022

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From Muddy Waters to REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick to Earth Wind and Fire and Chance the Rapper, the land of Lincoln has produced some of the most highly celebrated music in rock history. Musicians, legendary radio stations, and musical gear have shaped the sonic history of Illinois and the world.

This exhibit will showcase the achievements and contributions of Illinois’ finest in music. Written by award-winning author, documentary-producer and former Chicago Sun-Times Columnist and Critic, Dave Hoekstra.

Produced by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and hosted in the 3,000-square-foot Illinois Gallery.



Featured Artifact

Fender Stratocaster Guitar Owned and Played by Buddy Guy

Blues legend Buddy Guy honors his late mother with the polka dot motif that has become his trademark for instruments and clothing. The Fender company now makes a Buddy Guy signature guitar for musicians looking to emulate Guy’s ringing tone.

Courtesy of Buddy Guy's Legends



The State of Sound Podcast

A production of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

A companion series to the blockbuster exhibit, The State of Sound, a World of Music from Illinois.

This bi-weekly podcast series dives deep into the stories behind the stories of the exhibit “The State of Sound” - with newly taped interviews from key players, artists, families, authors as well as historical perspectives. The music from Illinois has inspired the soundtrack of our lives, hear the stories about the music creators and the artifacts in the exhibit - check back here every other week for new episodes.

Episode 1

State of Sound exhibit creators, Lance Tawzer and Dave Hoekstra discuss the origins and challenges of the project.

(Coming soon)

Episode 2

(Coming soon)

Episode 3

(Coming soon)

Episode 4

(Coming soon)


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