CPM expands oral history collection on Nashville music industry

The Center for Popular Music recently added several oral history collections related to directly to the Nashville Music Industry to the archive.

CPM graduate assistant Tiffany Minton, from MTSU’s Public History program, created the Women Musicians in Nashville Oral History project as a collection of narrative histories from some of the industry’s most prominent studio and stage musicians. In addition to the oral histories themselves, Ms. Minton organized an online panel discussion with several of her interviewees, moderated by the MTSU History Department’s Dr. Kris McCusker.

Recording Industry faculty member Odie Blackmon launched the Center’s Soul of a Songwriter oral history collection with an extensive series of interviews with the legendary country songwriter Kostas. Born in Greece, Kostas grew up in Montana and in the 1980s launched his songwriting career with a string of hits for artists like Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam, Martina McBride, and The Mavericks.

Finally, our friend Dr. Travis Stimeling of West Virginia University donated the interview recordings and transcripts from his research for the book Nashville Sounds: Record Production in Music City (Oxford University Press, 2020). Stimeling’s interviews with many of the session musicians, arrangers, and businesspeople who helped create Nashville’s famed production practices in the 1960s and 70s includes such legendary figures as Hank Bradley, Bergen White, Ray and Polly Edenton, Rose Drake, Ray Stevens, and Wayne Moss.

As one of the nation’s leading research centers for all facets of American popular music, the Center actively seeks donations from MTSU alumni and other friends of the CME who have been active in the music industry. Our interests are not just limited to oral histories, of course. We welcome material donations of manuscripts, photos, business papers, correspondence, original recordings, and anything else that will support research and teaching of American popular music for years to come.

Contact information, links to all of these collections, as well as the video of the Women Musicians in Nashville panel discussion, are available on the Center’s website: mtsu.edu/popmusic

Categories: Events, Faculty, News, Partnerships, Research

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