Nashville, TN, July 20, 2021 – – One of the most acclaimed artists in the history of bluegrass, Alison Krauss, trailblazing bandleader/banjoist Lynn Morris, and early bluegrass influencers the Stoneman Family were announced as the 2021 inductees into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place Thursday, September 30 during the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards presented by Yamaha at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina.
More on this year’s inductees:
Alison Krauss has been the most commercially successful bluegrass-related artist since Flatt & Scruggs. Raised in Champaign, Illinois, she was lauded as a child prodigy, playing fiddle in regional groups, and discovered she could sing. At age 17, she participated in the National Council for Traditional Arts’ “Masters of the Folk Violin” tour, which also included Kenny Baker and Michael Doucet. Signed to a recording contract with Rounder before graduating high school, her first album, Too Late to Cry (1987), received notable critical acclaim and opened doors for other female singers in the genre. Her song “Two Highways” held the top spot on Bluegrass Unlimited’s debut bluegrass chart in May 1990, and she was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry at age 22. Her second album, I’ve Got That Old Feeling, won a bluegrass Grammy in 1991, while her first video went to #1 nationally on CMT.
In ensuing years, major awards and recognition have accumulated, including five additional GRAMMY Awards for Best Bluegrass Album: Every Time You Say Goodbye (1993), So Long So Wrong (1998), New Favorite (2002), Live (2004), and Paper Airplane (2012). Until 2021 Krauss held the record for the most GRAMMYs received by any female artist and is currently fourth among all recipients with 27 career awards. Her GRAMMYs include the 2009 Album of the Year for all genres for her Raising Sand collaboration with Robert Plant. Krauss has also won two IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards, four Female Vocalist of the Year awards, and has appeared multiple times at the White House.
With beautifully unique vocals, impeccable song choice and production taste, a top-flight touring band and a reputation for calling all the shots in her career since she was a teen, Krauss has brought immeasurable respect and recognition to the music and has introduced bluegrass to countless listeners.
Lynn Morris grew up in the small West Texas farming community of Lamesa and began her professional life in music after graduating with a degree in art from Colorado College. She started playing the banjo the next year and became the first person to twice win the coveted National Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. From there she proceeded to build a remarkably varied and exciting career, performing full time throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as touring military outposts in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions for the U.S.O.
After performing with the bands City Limits and Whetstone Run, Morris assembled her own group. In 1988 the Lynn Morris Band began recording for Rounder Records. Morris’s four albums earned numerous awards in the bluegrass industry. The title track of her 1996 release, the Hazel Dickens composition “Mama’s Hand,” won the IBMA Song of the Year award, and the album was also a smash hit. Morris is a three-time recipient of IBMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year.
Morris was a trailblazer among women bandleaders in bluegrass. Members included many award-winning musicians, among them husband Marshall Wilborn, Jesse Brock, Chris Jones, Ron Stewart, Jeff Autry, David McLaughlin, Tom Adams, and Audie Blaylock. Morris was the first female elected to the IBMA board in the artists and composers category and received an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award in 2010. While she no longer performs, she has become a top-shelf sound engineer and her smiling face can often be seen at bluegrass events. Lynn Morris’s music and legacy as a leading lady in bluegrass still inspire fans everywhere.
Country music historians equate the impact of the 1920s recordings by Ernest V. “Pop” Stoneman with those of the Carter Family. Both families were products of the ultra-talent-rich mountainous region that comprises southwestern Virginia. Stoneman was born in 1893 in a log cabin in Monarat, VA. In 1918 he married Hattie Frost of Galax, VA, and the marriage produced 23 children, 15 of whom survived to adulthood. Beginning with his recording of “The Sinking of the Titanic” in 1924, Stoneman became one of the best-selling early country artists before the emergence of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family in 1927.
Stoneman ceased recording in the early 1930s and moved the family’s base of operations to the Washington, DC, area where the band evolved into a bluegrass sound, eventually winning first place on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts network TV show as the Bluegrass Champs and popularizing the new genre in the Washington area. The Stoneman Family (later shortened to the Stonemans) band most often consisted of pioneering female artists Donna (mandolin) and Roni (banjo), alongside brothers Van (guitar); Jim (bass) and Scotty (fiddle); this lineup recorded two significant bluegrass albums with their father in the early 1960s. They relocated to Nashville in 1966, acquiring within two months both a syndicated television show and a major label record contract. It was about this time that another sister, Patsy, joined the band. After the television show, years of stage appearances and two more contracts with internationally distributed record labels, Roni decided in 1970 to go solo (appearing as a cast member on the TV show Hee Haw) and Donna entered the religious music field. Patsy, Van, and Jim continued a version of the Stoneman Family into the 1980s. Ernest “Pop” Stoneman died in 1968 at the age of 75 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. The Stoneman Family also received IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2000.
Tickets are now on sale for the 32nd Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards presented by Yamaha, and for all IBMA World of Bluegrass events; visit worldofbluegrass.org for details.
The Awards show will be broadcast on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction at 7:30 p.m. EDT, streamed via Facebook Live, and will be made available for rebroadcast by radio stations worldwide. For more information on how to obtain a recording of the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards Show for rebroadcast, please go to www.ibma.org.
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IBMA World of Bluegrass is the most important week in bluegrass! The week encompasses four events: the IBMA Business Conference, September 28-30; the IBMA Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases taking place September 28-30 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center; the 32nd Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards presented by Yamaha, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 30; and IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC, October 1-2, a two-day festival. IBMA Bluegrass Live! features the best of the best in bluegrass today, benefiting the IBMA Trust Fund—a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that assists bluegrass professionals during financial emergencies—and introducing the music to thousands of new fans every year.
IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the non-profit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.
Yamaha began manufacturing classical guitars in the early 1940s, expanding to steel-string acoustic guitars by 1966, the year in which they began distributing guitars internationally. The master luthiers at the Yamaha Custom Shop, located in Los Angeles, CA, also design and build some of the world’s finest acoustic guitars for Yamaha artists. Yamaha is delighted to participate in the 2021 IBMA World of Bluegrass event.
About THE DUKE ENERGY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Set amongst the backdrop of our Capitol, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts has stood as a historic and cultural focal point in Downtown Raleigh since 1932. It has played host to Broadway classics, rock legends and major political figures while maintaining an emphasis on education of the arts and artists housed within Raleigh’s community. With four separate event spaces available, the breadth and depth of events past, present and future has made this Raleigh’s Premier Arts Venue.
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