Capital bluegrass : country music in Washington D.C.

Publication Type:



Lornell, Kip,


New York, NY : Oxford University Press,, United States, p.xxvii, 346 pages : (2020)

Call Number:



(OCoLC)fst00835040, (OCoLC)fst01045395, Bluegrass music, Bluegrass music., fast, History and criticism., Old-time music, Old-time music., Washington (D.C.)


"With its rich but underappreciated musical heritage, Washington, D.C. is often overlooked as a cradle for punk, the birthplace of go go, and as the urban center for bluegrass in the Untied States. Capital Bluegrass: Hillbilly Music Meets Washington, D.C. richly documents the history and development of bluegrass in and around the nation's capital since it emerged in the 1950s. In his seventeenth book, American vernacular music scholar Kip Lornell discusses both well-known progressive bluegrass bands including the Country Gentlemen and the Seldom Scene, and lesser known groups like the Happy Melody Boys, Benny and Vallie Cain and the Country Clan, and Foggy Bottom. Lornell focuses on colorful figures such as the brilliant and eccentric mandolin player, Buzz Busby, and Connie B. Gay, who helped found the Country Music Association in Nashville. Moving beyond the musicians to the institutions that were central to the development of the genre, Lornell brings the reader into the nationally recognized Birchmere Music Hall, and tunes in to NPR powerhouse WAMU-FM, which for five decades broadcast as much as 40 hours a week of bluegrass programming. Dozens of images illuminate the story of bluegrass in the D.C. area, photographs and flyers that will be new to even the most veteran bluegrass enthusiast. Bringing to life a music and musical community integral to the history of the city itself, Capital Bluegrass tells an essential tale of bluegrass in the United States"--Includes bibliographical references (pages [311]-317) and index.Introduction -- Before bluegrass (1920s-1946) -- Back then it was called hilllbilly music (1946-1957) -- Bluegrass unlimited (1966-1977) -- Not seldom heard or scene (1977-1991) -- "A cold wind a' blowin'" (1991-2019).