Delmore Brothers at IBMM

Delmore Brothers exhibit at the International Bluegrass Music MuseumThe International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY has opened a new exhibit focusing on the life and music of Alton and Rabon Delmore, known to history as The Delmore Brothers.

They were Grand Ole Opry stars in the pre-bluegrass era, but their legacy is such that many of the nearly 1,000 songs they wrote jointly during their career have become bluegrass standards. Classics like Blue Railroad Train, Lay Down My Old Guitar, Freight Train Boogie, Blues Stay Away From Me, and Make Room In The Lifeboat For Me all got their start in the Delmore’s brother duet format.

They were also hugely influential in the music of the bluegrass brothers who followed, like Charlie and Bill Monroe, Carter and Ralph Stanley, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Charlie and Ira Louvin, and Earl and Bill Bolick.

A few of the artifacts from the Delmore Brothers exhibit at the International Bluegrass Music MuseumMuseum Curator, RaShae Jennings, says that the largest part of the new exhibit was given to them by Debby Delmore, daughter of the late Alton Delmore. It includes a large collection of personal memorabilia, and artifacts archived over the years by the family, plus several rare original LPs, music folios sold in the 1930s, and the brothers’ Grammy Award for Blues Stay Away From Me.

“This exhibit focuses on the lives and music career of Alton and Rabon Delmore, how their music influenced countless individuals, and how their unique style was an important factor to bluegrass music today.”

The Museum is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.on Sundays. Adult admission is $5.00, and $2.00 for students. Admission is always free to members.

For more details, visit the IBMM web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.