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Dates: January 16 – July 21, 2024
Location: Special Exhibits Gallery, Birthplace of Country Music Museum
A Cardboard History of Blue Ridge Music highlights the history of old-time, country, and bluegrass music in the Blue Ridge region through vintage show cards, concert posters, Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame plaques, and related objects. Originally, window cards and other announcement posters were created to advertise upcoming entertainment events staged by troupes of traveling performers. By design, they were printed on inexpensive paper or cardboard to last only a few months as they were nailed to telephone poles, plastered onto the sides of buildings, and placed in store windows. After the event, most were discarded or left to deteriorate outdoors. This display features 52 rare, original concert announcements, dating back to as early as 1939, that somehow survived over these many years.
Based on the vast and wide-ranging collection of Tom Murphy, the exhibit will give visitors a window into the careers and impact of numerous well-known musicians, such as Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells, Flatt & Scruggs, The Monroe Brothers, Lulu Belle and Scotty, Mac Wiseman, Clarence “Tom” Ashley, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, and many others. The connection between many of these artists to early radio and barn-dance style shows – including Bristol’s very own Farm and Fun Time – is also explored.
Tours of the special exhibit “A Cardboard History of Blue Ridge Music” are included in the price of regular museum admission to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, or you may visit the special exhibit only at a reduced cost. Reduced museum admission pricing for seniors, students, active military, and groups of 20 people or more are available. Additionally, the museum is a participating member of Museums for All, supporting those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits who may tour the museum for a minimal fee of $3 per person for up to four people.