Raymond McLain interview in Bristol Herald

The Bristol Herald Courier, which covers Bristol Tennessee and Virginia, plus the nearby cities of Johnson City and Jonesborough, TN, had a piece last Monday about the changing of the guard at East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program.

Raymond McLain, who had been overseeing the ETSU program, has taken the director’s position at the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University recently vacated by Don Rigsby, and Daniel Boner is now working as interim director at ETSU.

From the Herald Courier piece…

A Kentucky native, McLain said the time was right to move on.

“There were a lot of personal reasons to come home,” McLain said in a phone interview. “My mother has Alzheimer’s and this is a good deal closer to her. And my son and his wife recently told me I was going to be a grandfather.”

The Kentucky college’s traditional music program provided the impetus for his move.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to come to this program. It’s really growing and is similar in many ways to ETSU. And I’m overwhelmed with the support it has,” McLain said.

In Johnson City, Boner will oversee the program McLain leaves behind, but without the guidance of founder Jack Tottle, who formally retired in December.

“Raymond and Jack have done such a good job getting the program where it is – they’ve done all the hard work – so all we have to do is continue in their footsteps,” Boner said Wednesday. “This is a bittersweet time. Raymond and Jack have always been my mentors and I’ll certainly keep them on speed dial in my phone.”

You can read the full article 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.