The Bluegrass Hall of Fame – Inductee Biographies 1991-2014

The Bluegrass Hall of Fame - Inductees Biographies 1991-2014Every year since 1991 the IBMA initiates the induction of deserving personnel into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame (first called the Hall of Honor).

The Hall of Fame is situated in the Owensboro, Kentucky-based International Bluegrass Music Museum and to complement the Hall of Fame plaques, situated in the museum’s gallery, biographies are posted on the museum’s website.

Here is what Gabrielle Gray, recently retired Executive Director of the IBMM, says in her introduction for the book ….

“In 2009 the Museum identified the need to make available to the public more extensive biographical information on the Hall of Fame members, who now number more than fifty and many of whom are retired or deceased. We wanted carefully researched and engagingly written profiles, which would capture not only the essential facts and career accomplishments of these iconic musicians but also a sense of their personalities and their impact upon fellow musicians and fans. We engaged knowledgeable authors – people who knew most of the inductees on a first-name basis – to write the biographical sketches. The texts were reviewed by other experts in bluegrass music history for accuracy of fact and interpretation. The biographies were displayed on the Museum’s website and by 2013 all of the inductees to date had been profiled.”

Most of these biographies were written by Fred Bartenstein, author, magazine editor, broadcaster, musician, festival MC, talent director, scholar and consultant.

He suggested that these biographies be assembled into a book with suitable photographs for illustration, as a fundraiser for the Museum.

Gary Reid, another principal author, proprietor of Copper Creek Records and an extensively published author on the Stanley Brothers and other pioneering bluegrass artists and record labels, fact-checked the entire manuscript and helped to locate photographs.

Reid offers his perspective ….

“I believe there are 57 bios in all, 26 of which I contributed.

Other authors of the profiles include Neil V Rosenberg, the dean of bluegrass historians, and Steve Spence, a bluegrass musician and former editor of Bluegrass Unlimited.”

Joe Wilson, Founder/Chairman Emeritus, National Council for the Traditional Arts, in his Foreword, reminds us why we should be grateful for and to the characters that grace the pages of this book …..

“This is a collection of biographical material about musicians who changed the world they inherited. They changed it suddenly and dramatically, and their creations are still evolving and reaching into the future. Millions turn to that sparkling stream of sound, knowing instantly that it speaks to their souls. Nothing created on our shores is more instantly recognized as ‘American’ than this music called bluegrass.”

A full list of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees can be found here.

As would be expected, The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014 is available from the IBMM and orders can be placed through their website.

Also, autographed copies can be acquired from Fred Bartenstein.

The hardcover 256 page, 8” by 10” book was published by Holland Brown Books and has 44 colour and 19 black and white photographs, many never-before published. It is priced at $39.95, plus shipping.

Index ISBN: 978-0-9897544-1-5

Share this:

About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.