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About the Project

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum's oral history project, a partnership with the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, seeks to document each living member of the musicians known as “Bluegrass Music’s First Generation,” as well as those who carried this music to other areas around the world.

One criteria for being recognized as a member of this elite group is to have made a significant impact on the creation of the bluegrass music genre prior to 1954, or its subsequent early popularization in lands far-distant from Monroe’s homeplace in Kentucky.

This is an exceedingly time-dated undertaking, and we are gathering this history as quickly as possible, all around the nation. To date, we have videotaped 268 interviews with these cultural icons, conducted by professional interviewers. Additionally, we have professionally filmed dozens of concert performances.

By digitally capturing the songs, stories, performances, and interlocking histories uniting this group of legendary musicians, we are illustrating the cultural history of a vastly underdocumented folk phenomenon that occurred during the first half of 20th Century: the creation of bluegrass music.

This project has been generously underwritten by the following: