Video Oral History Project
This museum’s foremost project, VOHP, is one of the leading archival endeavors in the nation. VOHP seeks to professionally film each living member of the original 232 musicians known as “Bluegrass Music’s First Generation,” as well as those who carried this music to other areas around the world.
One criteria for being recognized as a member of this elite group is to have made a significant impact on the creation of the bluegrass music genre prior to 1954, or its subsequent early popularization in lands far-distant from Monroe’s homeplace in Kentucky.
This is an exceedingly time-dated undertaking, and we are gathering this history as quickly as possible, all around the nation. To date, we have videotaped nearly 200 interviews with these cultural icons, conducted by professional interviewers. Additionally, we have professionally filmed dozens of concert performances.
By digitally capturing the songs, stories, performances, and interlocking histories uniting this group of legendary musicians, we are illustrating the cultural history of a vastly underdocumented folk phenomenon that occurred during the first half of 20th Century: the creation of bluegrass music.
As the films are edited, they are available for viewing in the museum, at “Bluegrass Masters Film Festivals” around the country, and soon — for members only — on the museum’s website. Non-edited (full-length) video footage will later be catalogued for a resource library to be housed at the museum.
This project is specifically and generously underwritten by the following:
- Terry Woodward
- Marilyn & William Young Charitable Foundation
- National Endowment for the Arts
- International Bluegrass Music Association
- Michael E. Horn Family Foundation
- The Foundation for Bluegrass Music
General Operating Expense underwriters make it possible for the museum to pursue VOHP and other important projects:
- Fletcher Bright
- Kentucky Arts Council
- Daviess County Fiscal Court
- The City of Owensboro
- W. Thorpe McKenzie