Country: Portraits of an American Sound is an irresistible proposition from the get-go. But thanks to the co-sponsoring Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, there's much more here than just a photography exhibition. Along with intensely memorable portraits snapped by a horde of notable Nashville photographers (such as Grand Ole Opry house shutterbug Les Leverett and the great Raeanne Rubenstein), there's also several elucidating mini-documentary films providing background and context, and plenty of additional memorabilia, including musical instruments, some of them there sequin-spangled Nudie suits and assorted wardrobe items, displayed alongside vintage sheet music, movie poster and album art, even a jukebox loaded up with plenty of rare hillbilly ear-pleasers. The opening reception is Saturday, but the show runs all summer. Whether you're a devout fan or a stone non-believer, the joys of immersing in this sweet vortex of stellar C&W culture come in a Tammy Wynette–bouffant sized scale. Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City; Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; through Sept. 28; free. (213) 403-3000, annenbergspaceforphotography.org.
With more than 100 striking shots of some of the biggest, most beauteous country stars who ever plucked a guitar string,