Barbara Streisand, Elvis and Diana Ross- all came from public housing

Elvis Presley is shown with his Gibson J-200 guitar in a 1957 MGM studio publicity photo. (AP Photo)
November 20, 2012 3:39:04 PM PST
For some, music lifts the soul. For others, it lifts them out of poverty.

"The Sound, The Soul, The Syncopation" is an exhibit at Expo 72 that explores the connection between public housing and legendary musicians -- like Barbara Streisand, Dinah Washington, and Elvis Presley.

"I think a lot of people would expect an exhibit about music and public housing to have a lot of hip hop," Todd Palmer curator said. "And while we are certainly including hip hop artists, the surprise is that country musicians, pop musicians, Broadway, even punk have actually come out of public housing."

The exhibit tells the international story of those who survived tough beginnings in public housing and rose to the top of the charts. The National Museum of Public Housing is sponsoring the event.

"This idea came about because we realized there are so many artists that are familiar from public housing-- but there are so many people we don't think about that also come from public housing and we wanted to share those stories with the greater public," Jordan Palmer, National Museum of Public Housing, said.

They have more than 50 artists on display, but that of course is just a small percentage of those people from public housing who made it big in showbiz.

"Elvis grew up in Memphis Public housing. His development was very close to Beal Street and it's attributed to his integrating African American music to what became his rock style," Palmer said.

The exhibit runs through March 15, 2013.

Expo 72
72 East Randolph Street
publichousingmuseum.org


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