Leadership Bluegrass presents Barbara Martin Stephens on history of booking

IBMA’s Leadership Bluegrass has announced the next in their ongoing series of Virtual Workshops. On January 10, from noon to 1:00 p.m. (EST) they will present Booking History: From the Hayride to Music Row with Barbara Martin Stephens, an overview of artist representation from the late 1950s forward.

Stephens is a legend among Nashville booking agents for her work with major country and bluegrass stars. Her Book, Don’t Give Your Heart to a Rambler: My Life with Jimmy Martin, the King of Bluegrass, has been very well received in bluegrass circles.

The workshop is offered free of charge, and the discussion will be moderated by Katie Hogue. Following Barbara’s remarks, questions from the Zoom audience will be entertained.

The describe the seminar as follows:

Barbara Martin Stephens has had an amazing life in country and bluegrass music, at a time when very few women held prominent industry positions other than as artists. She began learning the business of talent booking in 1958 by watching Tillman Franks at the Louisiana Hayride; honed her skills as the primary booker for WWVA in Wheeling WV; and eventually moved to Nashville where, in 1964, she owned her own agency and was the first female booking agent on Music Row. She has placed so many of history’s great artists, including Loretta Lynn, Betty Amos, Hank Williams, Jr, Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys, and Grandpa Jones, to name a few. Join us as we talk about those experiences and her personal friendships which included Bill Monroe, Bessie Lee Maudlin, and Patsy Cline, while reminiscing about the early music business and how it compares to today. You won’t want to miss this!

To attend, simply use this link on January 10 at noon to sing in to the Zoom meeting.

For those unable to attend live, Leadership Bluegrass typically makes the video available after the fact on YouTube.

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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.