C. J. Lewandowski to be a Spotlight Artist at Country Music HOF

The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville has announced the featured artists for their 2024 American Currents: State of the Music exhibit, which highlights significant artists from the previous year. Artifacts, photos, and music are typically included in these exhibits, and this new one is scheduled to open on February 28.

A number of bluegrass artists will be included this year, as seems perfectly appropriate. Featured among the many country acts in the exhibit will be Sam Bush, C.J. Lewandowski, Nickel Creek, Bobby Osborne, Billy Strings, and Molly Tuttle. They will have pride of place alongside Taylor Swift, Tyler Childers, Morgan Wallen, Kelsea Ballerini, and several others.

For the opening week, the Hall of Fame has scheduled C.J. Lewandowski for one of their Musician Spotlight events, to be held on March 3 at 1:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater. A big part of the reason he has been selected for inclusion in the Unbroken Circle part of the new American Currents exhibit is, in addition to his success with The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, C.J. also spent a great deal of time with mandolin icon Bobby Osborne in the latter part of his life, with Bobby not only serving as a mentor, but the two becoming great friends.

C.J. also supplied the Museum with some personal effects from the time he and Bobby spent together for the exhibit, which you’ll be able to see when it opens next month. Their album together, Keep On Keepin’ On, was the final recording Osborne made before his passing in June of last year.

Lewandowski tells us that it was a powerfully emotional experience for him when he was notified of this honor.

“I had been having a bad day when I received the letter from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Bobby’s birthday was nearing and it would be the first without him, so I was feeling all down and out. We had so many plans and adventures yet to accomplish, but time ran out. Thats just life.

When I got home and saw a big box from the CMHoF, then read the letter, I just fell to my knees, more or less, sobbing. To be included in the American Currents exhibit at such a prestigious institution was enough, but it was more than that. I am being featured along side one of my biggest heroes and mentors, simply by being us.

Bobby was truly one of my best friends, and it is truly an honor and a privilege to be connected to such an amazing Music Making Man. I miss him every day.

Continuing the record without him has been tough but it’s going again with the help and support of a lot of friends, and there WILL be more new music from Bobby Osborne in 2024!

Thank you to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and all the folks that have supported my crazy life in bluegrass music. Most of all, thank you Bobby Osborne for encouraging me and being my friend. This is proof that Bobby’s ideas are still being played out. Thank you, so so much.”

For his Musician’s Spotlight, Lewandowski will be interviewed about his career and his friendship with Osborne, play a bit of mandolin, and surely sing a few. But forget about getting tickets – the event is already sold out! Let’s hope the Hall will offer a stream or video.

For more information about the 2024 American Currents exhibit, via the Hall of Fame online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.