International Country Music Conference

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

I had a wonderful time attending the 27th International County Music Conference in Nashville this past weekend. You can see me hard at work in the picture below!

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be hanging out with the people who write the books about country and bluegrass music. Bill Malone, who wrote Country Music, USA (and who is working on a biography of Mike Seeger); Wayne Daniel, who wrote Pickin’ On Peachtree: A History of Country Music in Atlanta; Nolan Porterfield, who wrote the definitive biography of Jimmy Rodgers; and of course Neil Rosenberg who wrote Bluegrass: A History, which was the subject of the panel I was on.

The Charles K. Wolfe Memorial Panel Discussion: Bluegrass: A History: It's History, Impact, and Future  Left to Right: Erika Brady, David Royko, Murphy, Kevin Kehrberg, Neil Rosenberg

The Charles K. Wolfe Memorial Panel Discussion: Bluegrass: A History: It's History, Impact, and Future Left to Right: Erika Brady, David Royko, Murphy, Kevin Kehrberg, Neil Rosenberg

I thought you might like to hear some of the titles of the papers that were presented:

Smiley Burnette: B Western Sidekick and Country Musician

Tex Ritter: From Folk Singer to Country Legend

The Song’s All Wrong: Why Musical Form Matters in Country Music

Minnie Pearl and William Faulker: Southern Music as Part of the Literary Renaissance

And a wonderful presentation by Bill Malone: In Honor of Mike Seeger: His Impact and Significance to Country Music

Don’t those make you want to come to the conference next year?

As I mentioned during my hard hour’s work on the panel (!), I reviewed Wayne Daniel’s book for Bluegrass Unlimited (years ago) and I was especially taken with his opening, which I remember well. He wrote, “If I had been blessed with an iota of musical talent this book would never have been written. I would have been too busy picking a guitar and singing country songs.” Love it, Wayne. I’m not sure what that had to do with Neil’s book, but it seemed relevant at the time.

Right now, I’m trying to finishing packing for my early morning departure to Lansing, Michigan, for the Midwest Banjo Camp, which is being held at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. Interestingly enough, Casey and the Dixie Bee-liners will be appearing close by on Friday and Saturday at the Niles Bluegrass Festival in Niles, Michigan. Weird to have her so close by, yet not be able to go see her!

So, in the interest of my actually being able to get a few hours of sleep before my alarm goes off at the ungodly (for me) hour of 6 a.m., I will close. [And I know all you hard-working early birds are rolling your eyes!] Hope I see some of you in Michigan. If not there, Kaufman Kamp is coming up soon!

2 thoughts on “International Country Music Conference

  1. Susan

    Just think, at 6am I had already put in a good hour on the high break to EARL’S BREAKDOWN so that I won’t blow it next time I have Casey for a lesson. I had also put in a good 1/2 hour of clawhammer. I had eatten my grits and walnuts and had drunk 2 cups of coffee before I headed over to the treadmill for a 1/2 hour walk while watching CNN. 🙂

  2. Martin Bacon

    6 AM is the only time I can be sure I have an hour to practice. Otherwise, getting up at 7 AM is my preference. Therefore, I can definitively state that the banjo has changed my life. Now I get up at 6 AM with a smile on my face. No doubt about it though, Susan is going to stay in the lead:) Wish I could have gone to Midwest Banjo Camp but something tells me that would have been a bad idea, since I went to Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy on Mother’s Day and Midwest Banjo Camp happens during Cheryl’s and my 34th wedding anniversary. Have a great time and Susan I hope you come to Kaufman Kamp.

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