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Don't Miss Folk Music Scholar Stephen Wade's Concerts and Talks at MTSU September 24-25!

Renowned folk scholar and Grammy nominee Stephen Wade is bringing the music, stories and photos of the American South to MTSU in a special late September campus visit that features free public concerts and chats. Wade’s visit is part of the university’s Tom T. Hall Writers Series and is co-sponsored by the College of Mass Communication’s Center for Popular Music.

The largest event, “A Concert and Conversation with Stephen Wade,” is set Thursday, September 25, at 5 p.m. in Room S102 of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building. Wade will also perform a mini-concert at noon Wednesday, September 24, in MTSU’s James Walker Library Atrium, followed by an informal meet-and-greet session in the library¹s Periodicals Lounge from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.  Additionally, he will make an appearance on WMTS FM-88.3’s “Justin Reed Show before a live audience Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Center for Popular Music Reading Room, located inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building.

Wade’s performances blend live music, projected imagery and spoken narrative to explore the stories in his award-winning 504-page book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press, 2012).  The book tells the fascinating stories of iconic Library of Congress field recordings made between 1934 and 1942, from Southern Appalachia down to the Mississippi Delta. Wade spent years researching the people behind these recordings, and worked closely with their descendants. To learn more about the book and music, visit

Wade developed acclaimed theater performances, including “Banjo Dancing” and “On The Way Home,” to share his love of folk music and history. Wade also was a part of the public television documentary “The Unquiet Library,” a study of the Library of Congress’s music division, and has authored essays, reviews and articles published around the country. He has recorded and/or produced more than a dozen albums, including his most recent, the Grammy-nominated “Banjo Diary: Lessons from Traditions” on the Smithsonian Folkways label.

Wade’s appearances are co-sponsored by the MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, Center for Popular Music, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, School of Music, and the Virginia Peck Trust.



Spring Fed Records Has a New Home
at the Center for Popular Music!

The Center for Popular Music has acquired the renowned Spring Fed Records from the Arts Center of Cannon County. Founded in 2002, Spring Fed Records is devoted to issuing recordings of traditional Southern music, including old-time country, blues and gospel by artists such as Uncle Dave Macon, Sam and Kirk McGee, The Fairfield Four, Frazier Moss and Mississippi John Hurt.  The label’s compilation of field recordings by African-American folklorist John Work III won a Grammy in 2008.  CPM staffer John Fabke will manage its day-to-day operations, and MTSU’s College of Mass Communications will assist with production and marketing.  For more information, see Gina E. Fann’s article at

Dr. Gregory N. Reish Appointed
Third Director of the Center for Popular Music

Dr. Gregory N. Reish has accepted appointment as the third Director of the Center for Popular Music and Professor of Musicology at Middle Tennessee State University. "I am deeply honored and utterly thrilled to have been selected to lead the Center for Popular Music into the next, exciting phases of its development, and look forward eagerly to joining the remarkable team at MTSU," he reports.

Dr. Reish comes to MTSU from Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he is currently Associate Professor of Music History. He is now in the final stages of preparation for a book on American vernacular guitar styles from the mid-19th century through bluegrass and country music of the 1940s. He has written and presented widely in the field of American guitar styles and on avant-garde music in 20th-century Italy.

Greg is also an accomplished string player, and performs widely on guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele, and as a singer, in styles ranging from bluegrass to old-time to country. In addition he is widely sought for workshops.

Dr. Reish began his work as the CPM director on July 1, 2014.

Anne MacFie Performs at the CPM

Anne MacFie, a folksinger/songwriter/storyteller from eastern Kentucky, presented a lunchtime concert at the Center for Popular Music on Friday, April 25, 2014, noon. Anne collected many of the traditional ballads and stories she performs from her Appalachian foothills neighbors. She has also worked with and learned from artists such as Lily May Ledford, Jean Ritchie, and Almeda Riddle. A professional musician since 1969, Anne has performed all over the continental United States and in eleven European and Near Eastern countries. She has recorded three solo albums, two more as a member of the Twa Sisters duo, and one with the Civil War ensemble, Privates By Choice. For many years Anne MacFie has given summer concerts and directed music festivals in the Kentucky State Parks, including Pine Mountain's Great American Dulcimer Convention, and for the National Parks and Forests. She has taught classes and workshops for festivals and folk camps, such as Kentucky Music Week, Swannanoa Gathering, and Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival, and is the folksong instructor for annual Road Scholar programs on Appalachian culture. She is also an accomplished and acclaimed songwriter who has been called "the best songwriter in Kentucky today." Her songs are regularly performed by artists such as Kentucky Standard and the Gallier Brothers Band. For more information about her, go to:

Each week The Center for Popular Music will present one MusicSprings video created in partnership with the Arts Center of Cannon County. The series can be accessed in its entirety by clicking HERE. In this next installment of our MusicSprings series, we are proud to present, "Happy Birthday"

The Center for Popular Music (CPM) is a research center devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America. The Center maintains an archive of research materials stretching from the early eighteenth century to the present and develops and sponsors programs in vernacular music. Anyone is welcome to use the CPM’s collections and services for research and scholarly pursuits.


News at CPM:

Dale Cockrell's retirement party!
Photos from the big event!

"Wicked Good Fiddling"
Former CPM Director Paul Wells hosts fiddle exhibit in Maine with CPM materials.

American Guitar exhibit now on display!
Check out the diverse selections from the Center's collections.

The CPM welcomes Dr. Drew Beisswenger
The new Reference and Electronic Resources Librarian.

CPM Features George Jones Exhibit
Photos from the Center's previous exhibit on George Jones.

Take 6 Inducted into GMA Hall of Fame
Find out more about the group here!
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