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      Mark Twain Museum to launch new CD

      Jimmy Buffet is a CD contributor. / Courtesy: Hannibal-Courier Post

      In celebration of Mark Twain's 175th birthday Tuesday, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum layed the red carpet out for a CD Launch Party.

      The recording, called "Mark Twain: Words and Music," is a project nearly five years in the making.

      "This is just another way Mark Twain has come back to life after 100 years," said Beau Hicks, the executive director of Hannibal's Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

      Close to 200 people filled the museum Tuesday night to hear a sneak peak of a CD. Grammy winner Carl Jackson produced the collection of songs.

      "He painted pictures with his words and that's what I try to do with my songs and he inspires me," said Jackson, song writer and producer of the CD.

      An inspiring 80 minutes worth of Mark Twain's words and song.

      "We've actually been talking about it for the last four to five years. And now things are finally coming together. And I'm just so excited about it. Proud of it and glad to be here," said Jackson.

      It's a collaborative effort of many Mark Twain enthusiasts, including a star-studded cast.

      "It's fantastic to have names like Brad Paisley, Emmylou Harris, Allison Kraus and Clint Eastwood is the voice of Mark Twain. This is gonna be huge for the Mark Twain Museum," said Hicks.

      "I caught wind about it and Carl Jackson said, 'I've got a song for you, Val. This is your song.' And so he asked me to be on this and I was just so honored," said Val Storey, a singer from Nashville.

      "The endowment fund of the Mark Twain Museum will benefit greatly for the CD project. And even some of the artists on the CD like Allison Kraus are giving their portion of the money back to the museum here in Hannibal," said Hicks.

      The CD adds yet another adventure to Mark Twain's history.

      "You know there's something about Mark Twain that if you like him, you love him, because he never stops surprising us," said Ron Powers, playwright to Sam and Laura.

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      In celebration of Mark Twain's 175th birthday Tuesday, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum layed the red carpet out for a CD Launch Party.

      The recording, called "Mark Twain: Words and Music", combines music and words of Twain's life.

      "On the CD, the voice of Mark Twain is Clint Eastwood, so we're very excited about that. In addition to that, we have Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffet, Vince Gill, Bradley Walker, and Rhonda Vincent, who's a Missouri gal, so we're really excited about that," said Ryan Murray with the Mark Twain Museum.

      The event is a "thank you" to everyone who helped make the project a reality.

      "We're excited for the community and folks to come out and hear a little bit of the CD and what we've been working on. We will be previewing some of the songs on the album, so folks can give a little listen and see what they think of everything," said Murray.

      Doors open at 9:00 p.m. at the Mark Twain Museum. If you haven't bought your tickets yet, there's still time. The cost is $150 a ticket to raise money for the museum. For more information on the party, call: 573-221-9010, or click here to go to the museum's site.

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