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 musicians known as “Bluegrass Music’s First Generation,” as well as those who carried this music to other areas around the world.

View the list of Bluegrass Pioneers

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 268 interviews with these cultural icons, conducted by professional interviewers. Additionally, we have professionally filmed dozens of concert performances.

Click to read Katy Daley’s VOHP interview with Doyle Lawson

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 and at “Bluegrass Masters Film Festivals” around the country. 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:

  • Marilyn & William Young Charitable Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Michael E. Horn Family Foundation
  • Terry Woodward
  • International Bluegrass Music Association
  • The Foundation for Bluegrass Music