The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is a wonderful resource for lovers of the music, and for those wanting to learn more about the history and development of the style. Located in Owensboro, KY, it serves as a contemporary museum of all things bluegrass, as well as the home of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame where the plaques created for each inductee are displayed, a number creeping up towards 75 historic figures.
Sadly, many lovers and students of bluegrass are either unaware of its existence, or unfamiliar with how much is offered at the newly constructed facility build for this purpose in Owensboro. Making sure more people know about the Hall and the benefits of membership is a high priority for Executive Director, Chris Joslin, who has been on the job since 2015. They host concerts and shows, plus the big annual ROMP festival in Owensboro for this very purpose.
But it seems that they may have finally hit on something that can expand their footprint and make more people aware of the Museum and the Hall of Fame all across the US.
Starting later this year, they will produce and host a television program to air on RFD-TV called My Bluegrass Story. Each episode will present a mini-biography of popular bluegrass artists, where they tell their own story of finding a love for the music and developing into a professional performing artist. Episodes have already been shot with icons like Doyle Lawson and Del McCoury, along with current artists Dan Tyminski, Rhonda Vincent, Tammy Rogers, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Russell Moore, Becky Buller, and Joe Mullins. They have also prepared editions of My Bluegrass Story with a number of artists on the edge of bluegrass, like Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Tony Kamel, and Noah Wall of Barefoot Movement.
Joslin says that they have very high hopes for this endeavor.
“A nationally distributed television show is part our vision to make the Hall of Fame a premier destination for bluegrass music, and to help Owensboro, Kentucky live out its reputation as the Bluegrass Music Capital of the World. During the pandemic we launched Bluegrass Unlimited magazine with subscribers in all 50 states and 17 countries and filmed the television show that will reach even more fans of this music. Although the pandemic slowed some aspects of our operations, it also created the bandwidth to press the accelerator on several projects that will enable us to attract even more visitors from outside the region.
The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is in the storytelling business, and we do this with exhibits, programming, the Hall of Fame’s video oral history archive, and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. My Bluegrass Story is simply another tool we will use to highlight the journey of these incredible bluegrass artists. Since live music energizes everything that we do, television is a great medium for tying the stories together creatively with live performances. In addition, I felt it was important to feature a broad spectrum of artists in season one because bluegrass music is very diverse today. My Bluegrass Story reflects that diversity.”
RFD-TV is a specialty cable channel that broadcasts 24/7 with a mix of shows that celebrate the rural lifestyle including farming and ranching, and traditional country music programming. It is available on many cable and satellite networks, as well as for online streaming and on demand viewing. The network is available now in more than 52 million homes.
My Bluegrass Story will be produced at the Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro under the direction of Jason Tanner of Tanner + West. He says that his goal is to bring out more than the standard details in each episode.
“The artists seemed to appreciate getting to the heart of their story through the interview process. Part of my job was to dig deeper into the artists background stories, childhood memories and influences, the meaning behind certain songs, and the other insights that most people have never heard before.”
Look for further details about air times for My Bluegrass Story on RFD-TV later this year.