Garth Brooks Donates Cowboy Hat, Other Mementos To Smithsonian

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Garth Brooks took his famous cowboy hat to the Smithsonian Institution as he donated mementos from his singing career.

But once he finished signing autographs and taking pictures, he was more interested in seeing Patsy Cline's performance costume and Ray Charles' tuxedo.

Brooks' trademark black Stetson Tyler cowboy hat, a stage outfit of Wrangler jeans and black cowboy boots, and a guitar he smashed on stage at a Dallas concert in 1991 will soon join the artifacts of other musical greats at the "Treasures of American History" exhibit.

A museum curator said the Brooks' items can help visitors understand the importance of country music.

Brooks said he thinks of country music in layman's terms as "the 6 o'clock news put to music."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)