Doyle and Katy do VOHP

Katy Daley,  long-time DC bluegrass radio personality and morning host at WAMUs Bluegrass Country, recently interviewed Doyle Lawson for the Video Oral History Project, a program managed by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. VOHP was undertaken to ensure that the institutional memory of the first (and now second) generation of bluegrass artists and personalities was preserved, a noble task and one worthy of whatever support you can offer.

She met with Doyle earlier this week, and has been chronicling her visit to Bristol on her blog at Bluegrass Country.

Early to bed, early to rise….The interview was set at Doyle’s office. We followed Doyle’s sister-in-law, Mary McClellan, around all the twists and turns of the local roads and got there pretty quick. Doyle refers to Mary as “Sister.” She keeps Doyle on track and on time by running all the details of the office as well as Doyle’s, Top O’Holston Publishing Company. Thank you, Sister. We’d still be wandering around if it hadn’t been for you.  Joe Gray, the IBMM videographer had the interview space pretty well set up and we started, as scheduled, just about 10am.

With only a couple breaks to change tape or lighting, get a cup of coffee or use the restroom, we worked straight through to 3:00.  And while 5 hours seems like a long time to talk, it’s nothing when trying to cover the details of a life’s work. Doyle was heavily influenced by his father’s gospel quartet, worked with Jimmy Martin (twice), with JD Crowe, The Country Gentlemen, and has headed up Quicksilver for the past 31 years.  You have to cover all of his recordings, including 6 albums with The Bluegrass Album Band, AND all his awards and honors. Let me just mention a few: The National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award, an honorary doctorate from King’s College (Yes, that’s Dr. Doyle), seven IBMA vocal groups of the year, etc. etc.

There is more, including photos at

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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.