Precious Memories: 40 Years Inside Bluegrass at Raleigh City Museum

Image from Precious Memories: 40 Years Inside Bluegrass - Ernie Thacker, Curly Seckler, Bill Vernon, Don Clark, Willis Spears - photo by Becky JohnsonIn just over two months, we’ll all be packing up for the trip down to Raleigh for the 2015 World Of Bluegrass. For those of us who spend a solid week there each year, that’s nerve-wracking reminder of how little time we have yet to prepare. But it’s always fun

Regular attendees and novices alike will soon start looking out for other opportunities for things to see and do when they are in Raleigh, with that downtown area rife with restaurants, museums, and attractions to tempt the senses.

One you’ll certainly want to include will be a special exhibit at the City of Raleigh Museum, located a short walk down Fayetteville Street from the main hotels and convention center. It’s titled Precious Memories: 40 Years Inside Bluegrass, and it features 35 historic photos taken by Becky Johnson dating from 1977 forward, plus various bluegrass ephemera from her personal collection including ticket stubs, personal letters, and other items.

Becky’s photo exhibit will be open during September and October of this year. World Of Bluegrass is scheduled to run from September 29 through October 3. She shared the image above, which will be in the exhibit, a photo taken during the 1996 IBMA Fan Fest in Louisville, KY. It captures a number of bluegrass personalities, relaxing following a performance by Curly Seckler and Willis Spears.

She offered this capsule description of the photo…

“Somebody asked for a group photo, but Bill Vernon insisted that he also be in the picture. Sadly, it was the last photo I would make of dear Bill as he passed away that November.”

The museum has hosted a special bluegrass-themed exhibit during the time the city is visited by so many bluegrass lovers. The weekend, city-sponsored street festival occurs just outside their front door, and there is no admission charge to enter.


Be sure to stop in to see Precious Memories: 40 Years Inside Bluegrass during WOB.

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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.