Congratulations are in order for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The museum will receive a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) to help preserve a rare Stanley Brothers recording from the museum’s collection. The recording, a transcription disc from a live recording during the Stanley Brothers’ tenure at Bristol radio station WCYB, had deteriorated considerably since its recording and had not been playable in several decades.
The disc was selected earlier this year as one of VAM’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts and was part of an online competition to receive varying amounts of grant money to help toward the artifacts’ restoration. During a week-long competition in which members of the public could vote daily for the artifact they deemed most worthy, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and their Stanley Brothers record received nearly 6,000 votes, coming in several hundred votes ahead of the second-place organization. All of the organizations in the Top 10 will receive recognition at a reception at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond on February 21.
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum plans to restore the music contained on the disc through a technology known as IRENE, which takes detailed images of the grooves on the record and recreates the sound using those images. Sadly, the disc itself is too fragile and damaged to ever play again, but hopefully the audio will soon be available for listening once more.
For more information on the record’s journey to restoration, keep up with the Birthplace of Country Music on Facebook.