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Special Exhibit: “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!”: A (Hillbilly) History of Mountain Dew
February 26 - August 7
Dates: February 26, 2022 – August 7, 2022
Location: Special Exhibits Gallery, Birthplace of Country Music Museum
This fun but scholarly exhibit explores Mountain Dew’s storied history, which began in the hills of Appalachia. The content also examines the region’s moonshining history and its ever-present “hillbilly” stereotype, both of which play an important role in the soft drink’s success. Starting with the origins of the phrase “mountain dew” in Europe, “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!” opens with the history of distilling, prohibition, moonshining, and its impact on the rise of “soft” versus “hard” drinks. The hillbilly stereotype – later depicted vividly on the drink’s marketing and branding – grew out of tales published by local writers after the Civil War, was reshaped amid New South ideology, and found fruition in the mid-1900s with pop culture hits like The Beverly Hillbillies and Hee-Haw.
The exhibit plays on these themes visually, through text and image, using oversized panels with bright imagery and that reference the drink’s history in shape and format. Audio-visual elements and text that plays with language influenced by the hillbilly stereotype give visitors the chance to fully immerse themselves in the story and have a truly engaging experience!
“It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!”: A (Hillbilly) History of Mountain Dew presents a wonderful educational opportunity for local and regional schools, presenting a route to the discussion of local history, the history of moonshining and Prohibition, and the hillbilly stereotype through engaging content. Teachers can contact Erika Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org to find more about booking in-person and virtual tours of this exhibit.
Public programming will be scheduled to go along with this exhibit – you can find out more on our Events page.