Retired Librarian gives life savings to Appalachian studies

James MontgomeryJames Montgomery discovered bluegrass music at age 9 in his native North Carolina. He was suffering from polio and spent a lot of time listening to the radio. Now, 68 years later, and retired in Austin, TX, Montgomery recently donated $500,000 dollars to Mars Hill College in North Carolina.

The school has an Appalachian Studies program that includes the studio of regional music, including bluegrass and old-time music. In addition to the money, Montgomery also plans to donate his collection of 1,500 records and CDs to the school for use as reference material.

I just want to keep this music alive, and if I can do it through academics, so much the better.

The financial donation will be used to fund two annual scholarships for students studying the culture of the Appalachian region. has the full story.