Music Hall of Fame to come alive during inaugural 'Night at the Museum' event


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TUSCUMBIA, Alabama — Mike Adams has been portraying the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" for nearly 30 years, but next month he'll become Elvis Presley to help educate a younger audience about Alabama's music achievers.

Adams, the event and community programs director for the Florence Parks and Recreation Department, will serve as a tour guide for a group of students participating in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame's first "A Night at the Museum."

Hall of Fame Manager Dixie Griffin said the event is something new geared toward students in grades third through sixth.

"This is just another way to introduce elementary school students to the museum," Griffin said. "We plan to make the museum come alive."

It's an idea loosely based on the movie "Night at the Museum" in which a new security guard played by comedian Ben Stiller discovers an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display at the Museum of Natural History to come alive and wreak havoc. The movie also stars Ricky Gervais and Dick Van Dyke.

While havoc is not expected to ensue in the Alabama Hall of Fame and museum, some of the exhibits will come to life with the aid of people such as Adams and students from the University of North Alabama.

"We are tickled to offer this new event that allows children to learn about Alabama's rich music heritage in a fun and involved way," Griffin said. "We are thrilled to partner with Dr. Beth Garfrerick's past and present campaigns class from UNA as we plan and pull this event together. They have been a tremendous help."

The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Admission is $10 per person, which includes an interactive tour, movie and refreshments.

Griffin said reservations must be made by March 10 because of limited capacity. Call the hall of fame at 256-381-4417.

While Presley was born in Tupelo and got his start in Memphis, Griffin said "Elvis" is being included because of his strong connection to Florence native Sam Phillips, who signed Presley to his Memphis-based Sun Records Label in the mid-1950s. Phillips is a hall of fame inductee who has numerous exhibits in the museum."

Adams as Presley will introduce his connection, then lead the students on a tour of the museum where they will encounter volunteers dressed up as various music achievers such as Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette and The Commodores.

"That person will be standing there, and they will 'come to life,' " Griffin said. "We have never done anything like this before."

She said the tour will last about one hour. Students will then be treated to a viewing of the movie "Night at the Museum." The event is expected to end about 9 p.m., Griffin said.

"We're just trying to teach them different things about the Alabama Music Hall of Fame," Adams said. "I've known Dixie for a long time, and I'm glad to help her out."

Adams, 43, said he started portraying Presley when he was 5. He stopped while in high school then resumed the portrayals after entering college.

Adams said he met Phillips once and spent about two hours listening to him tell stories about his time with The King.

He said Phillips watched a portion of one of his performances and flashed a "thumbs up" and "OK" sign as he left.

Information from: TimesDaily,

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