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Coming Soon!!!

Bryan Sutton, the multiple-award-winning bluegrass guitarist, will be appearing at MTSU as part of CPM's "The American Guitar" series. The series was launched in 2014 and explores the central importance of the instrument to American popular music through programs, workshops, lectures, and exhibits.  From Bryan Sutton’s homepage: “Bryan Sutton is one of the most sought after acoustic guitarists on the planet . Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Bryan grew up in a musical family and was immersed in the rich heritage of western North Carolina music. Sutton entered the bluegrass world in 1995 as a member of Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder band, playing on two Grammy award winning records. After his tenure with Skaggs, Bryan went on to build a career as a top studio guitarists in Nashville. His playing can be heard along side such names as Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Harry Connick Jr.. Always striving to keep his bluegrass roots strong, Bryan has also released four solo projects and has toured around the world with artists like Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, and as a member of the legendary bluegrass band, Hot Rize. Sutton has been honored as a six time winner of the IBMA's Guitarist of the Year, and received a Grammy in 2007 for "Best Country Instrumental Performance" for his duet recording with Doc Watson. Bryan now balances a busy schedule of recording, touring, and teaching online as part of the Artist Works group.”

CPM Sponsors Barry Mazor's Presentation
on Ralph Peer

Visiting author Barry Mazor, in his lecture/interview at MTSU on January 26, 2015, spoke to a large group of faculty and students about the unheralded but extraordinary role Ralph Peer (1892-1960) played in bringing popular music styles, especially "roots music" styles, to the public. While many people know of Peer's Bristol Sessions in 1927, which introduced several country music legends, few know about his significant role in introducing major jazz, blues, R&B, Latin, gospel, and rock 'n' roll artists and styles. Mazor outlines Peer's multifaceted life in his new book Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music (Chicago Review Press, 2015). After Mazor's lecture, CPM Director Greg Reish interviewed him about his work, and moderated questions from the audience. Mazor stayed to answer questions and sign copies of his book at the close of the event.

AVMM Project In Its Final Stages

The CPM is finishing up the final stages of its NEH-grant supported American Vernacular Music Manuscripts (AVMM) Project, co-written with the American Antiquarian Society.  The project involves scanning, cataloging, and offering online access to hundreds of early American handwritten music manuscripts, including one with this striking page from the 1860s. For more information, and to see many of the scanned music manuscripts, go to:

The latest big-name visitor to the Center for Popular Music is jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath

At the highest level as a jazz artist, Jimmy Heath led or played in groups with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and many others. Mr. Heath performed on October 20 at MTSU's Hinton Hall.

The Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Folklore Society Will Be at the Center for Popular Music, Oct. 25, 2014!

10:00    Sign in
10:30   Opening Remarks and Annual Business Meeting
Shawn Pitts, Selmer
11:00 Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program
Robert Cogswell and Dana Everts-Boehm, Nashville
11:30 The Life and Music of Norman Blake, Old-Time Country Musician
 Daniel Fleck, Memphis   
12:00 Lunch Break
1:00   Center for Popular Music Presentation and Tour
 Greg Reish and Martin Fisher, Murfreesboro
1:30    Indexing the Charles K. Wolfe Audio Collection
Karen Hogg, Bowling Green KY
2:00 Recording Tennessee Folk Music for High Water Records
 David Evans, Millington
2:30 Break
3:00 Davis Unlimited Records: Recording Traditional Music in the 1960s-70s
 Steve Davis, Hideaway TX
3:30   Facing the Music: Material Issues Related to Nonprofit and Small Label Release (Panel)
Steve Davis, David Evans, John Fabke, (Moderated by Cogswell)
4:00   Closing Remarks
Shawn Pitts, Selmer

For more information see:

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:

Stephen Wade performed at MTSU!
Included a performance at the 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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