Popular Music preserves Marvin Hedrick bluegrass and country collection


Marvin Hedrick

The Center for Popular Music recently completed the Marvin Hedrick Collection project as well as launched its dedicated website.


This year-long effort, funded by the GRAMMY Foundation (now part of the GRAMMY Museum), includes historically and culturally significant recordings of bluegrass and country artists made by influential documentarian Marvin Hedrick in Brown County, Indiana, between 1954 and 1973. Most of the recorded performances took place at the Brown County Jamboree in Bean Blossom, Indiana, which has also been the site of the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival since 1967.

The collection also includes recordings of jam sessions, radio broadcasts and live performances from other venues. The recordings capture performances by many of the genre’s most significant figures, including the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, as well as Reno and Smiley, Mac Wiseman, The Country Gentlemen, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, The Stoneman Family, Jim and Jessie, The Osborne Brothers and others.

The Hedrick Collection was donated to the Center for Popular Music by Marvin’s sons, Gary Hedrick and David Hedrick, in 2015. The Center received a Preservation Implementation Grant of $19,537 from the GRAMMY Foundation to fund this preservation, digitization and cataloging project.

Each item in the collection was evaluated, and appropriate steps were taken to ensure preservation, including baking, splicing and re-spooling of magnetic tapes. The tapes’ audio contents were digitized in the Center’s state-of-the-art audio preservation lab. Each item was catalogued and tagged with essential data such as song titles, performers, dates and other information using CONTENTdm archival management software. A Finding Aid was also created, giving an overview of the collection and its contents.


Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. Photo by Roger Smith

The Marvin Hedrick Collection is searchable through its dedicated website. One audio sample from each tape is provided as streaming audio for educational purposes. The entirety of the collection’s digitized contents is available to researchers on site at the Center for Popular Music, located on the MTSU campus.

For more information, click here.



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