IBMM archiving large bequest from Conway Gandy

Museum staff with newly-unloaded boxes of CDs from the collection of H. Conway Gandy

The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY is in the early stages of archiving a large collection of recordings and other materials from the estate of prominent Colorado grasser, H. Conway Gandy.

A banjo player himself, Gandy served the bluegrass community throughout his life. He was a founding member of the Colorado Bluegrass Society, and on the Board of Directors for the IBMA Trust Fund. He was also a strong supporter of the Bluegrass Museum, where he was a lifetime member.

After retiring from a career in the law, Gandy dedicated his time to building an historic collection of bluegrass recordings, and sharing them with his radio audience as host of Where It All Began on KRFC in Ft. Collins, CO. He also wrote a number of articles on the history of bluegrass music.

Now all of these materials have been turned over to the IBMM, at his bequest. Museum archivist Savannah Hall says that she is honored to house these important pieces, which include more than 2200 audio CDs, hundreds of LPs, and many live show tapes from 1957 to the present day.

“It is immensely rewarding to provide a home for the extensive collection of Conway Gandy. He was a dedicated bluegrass advocate, and we will provide that collection with the same dedication in its preservation with museum-quality humidity and temperature control, handling, and maintenance. It is my hope that we can provide this service to the beloved artifacts of the bluegrass community in the years to come. We have been, and always will be, a devoted home for bluegrassers and their objects alike.”

The Gandy collection also includes the many books on bluegrass music he had acquired, and most of the articles he had written for bluegrass publications during his life. Gandy passed away in 2015 at the age of 80.

More information about the Museum, including membership, visiting hours, and how to donate funds or items to their collections, can be found online.

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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.