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.
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!