Past News and Events

Previous Exhibits

Unapologetic Loyalty

 Unapologetic Loyalty: Fan Culture in Popular Music put fan scrapbooks, punk fanzines, fan club materials, backstage passes, and more on display for you to see. This exhibit was put together by our archivist, Rachel Morris, and features some real gems from the collection.


Original Broadway ShowsThe a second display in our tall case featured materials from the Center for Popular Music's collection relating to Original Broadway Shows. This exhibit was curated by CPM Graduate Assistant, Emily Boersma. 




Spring Brown Bag Dates

CPM Spring Brown Bags


Food, Glorious Food

The Food, Glorious Food exhibit featured items from our collection having to do with food branding and marketing in American popular music and was put together by archivist, Rachel Morris.

Food Glorious Food Exhibit Case 2Food Glorious Food Exhibit Case 1

Operation Song

Our Operation Song exhibit was put together by Library Assistant Olivia Beaudry. It was created for an Operation Song event and honors our active servicemen and veterans. This exhibit featured items from our collection having to do with all branches of the military. You can find out more about Operation Song, a Nashville, Tennessee based 501(c)(3) non-profit that empowers veterans and active duty military members to tell their stories through songwriting by clicking the link here.

Operation Song Exhibit


An Evening with Charlie McCoy

Charlie McCoy PosterThe Center's event with Charlie McCoy on Monday, November 14th was a big success. Thank you to all who attended. Charlie McCoy, the muli-instrumentalist and singer whose long career as a session musician made him one of the most recorded and demanded members of the “Nashville Cats,” will discuss his extraordinary career with noted country music historian Dr. Travis Stimeling in the first half of the evening’s program. The second half will be a concert performance by McCoy with a backing band of Nashville A-list players.



Jonatha Brooke at the KUC Theater

Jonatha Brooke Promo Poster for KUC EventOn Thursday November 3, 2016 songwriter and recording artist Jonatha Brooke visited the College of Media & Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University. Ms. Brooke was interviewed by Professor Beverly Keel as the guest artist for a Tom T. Hall “Writers in the Round” event at 7:00pm in the Keathley University Center Theatre on the MTSU campus. This event was free and open to the MTSU community and the public.

This “Writers in the Round” event is part of the Tom T. Hall “Writers Series” and is supported by the College of Media & Entertainment, Center for Popular Music, and the Department of Recording Industry. 

For more information contact Daniel Pfeifer (615) 545-5129,

An interview with Peter GuralnickPeter Guralnick program October 26, 2016 at 4:30pm in LRC

Author Peter Guralnick, one of the most acclaimed music biographers and critics of our time, participated in a live interview with CPM Director Dr. Greg Reish about Guralnick’s latest book, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll. Guralinck is also the author of award-winning books about Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Robert Johnson, and other American roots-music topics.

This event tooke place on October 26th at 4:30 pm in the McWherter Learning Resource Center (LRC) room 221. It was free and open to the public!

Fall Events

The CPM has an action-packed calendar for the upcoming Fall semester, with speakers, performers, and other exciting programs. Mark your calendars and stay tuned to our website and social media pages for locations and other information. All events are free of charge and open to the public!

September 14, 4:30 pm — Tracy Nelson

Blues-rock singer Tracy Nelson, who Entertainment Weekly called, “blues practitioner of tremendous vocal power and emotional range,” will be on campus to sing some of her magnificent catalog and talk about her amazing career. Tracy started her career in Chicago in the 1960s, learning from Charlie Musselwhite, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, then became an important part of San Francisco’s psychedelic scene as the lead singer of Mother Earth. Since then she’s worked with Willie Nelson, Marcia Ball, and other icons of American roots music.

GuralnickSeptember 19, 12:40 pm — The Americans

Roots-rock band The Americans, featured in the new film American Epic (produced by Jack White, T-Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford) will present a program exploring the earliest period of roots music commercial recordings, from the 1920s and 1930s.

October 26, 4:30 pm — Peter Guralnick

Author Peter Guralnick, one of the most acclaimed music biographers and critics of our time, will do a live interview with CPM Director Dr. Greg Reish about Guralnick’s latest book, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll. Guralinck is also the author of award-winning books about Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Robert Johnson, and other American roots-music topics.

November 14, 7:00 pm — Charlie McCoyCharilieMcCoy

A pillar of the Nashville Sound and one of the most versatile session musicians in popular music history, Charlie McCoy will speak about his extraordinary career and perform a concert backed by a group of Nashville pros. This program will be hosted by Dr. Travis Stimeling of West Virginia University, who is one of the world’s leading authorities on Nashville’s classic era of recording.

November 18, 11:00 am — Shelly Peiken

This number 1 hit pop songwriter will talk about her new book, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, with the coordinator of MTSU’s commercial songwriting program, Prof. Odie Blackmon.

CPM in the News

The Center's newest Grammy grant to digitize our collection of bluegrass audio recordings from Marvin Hedrick has been getting a lot of buzz! We're so glad that everyone is as excited about this project as we are. Please check out some of the latest articles and interviews regarding the collection and the grant project below.

The project is underway now, and we'll continue to update you as it progresses! Thank you for your support.


Tom Morgan picking party

Tom Morgan Picking Party

On Friday, May 20th we hosted a picking party in the CPM reading room for a music-filled evening in honor of musician, luthier, and collector Tom Morgan. Tom has been donating materials from his distinguished career in the bluegrass and old-time music world. Thank you so much for making the event a success!

New displays by our Graduate Assistants

The Center's reading room featured two new displays in the spring! The first display was in honor of Earth Day and curated by our very own Graduate Assistant, Emily Boersma. It featured music and materials from our collection related to preservation and care for the planet. Our second display, entitled "Music in Film", was curated by Graduate Assistant, Dixie Johnson. It featured a wide array of formats relating to movie musicals and film soundtracks. Both of these wonderful exhibits were wonderful examples of the sort of items that can be found within our wonderful archive. Stay tuned for more exhibits and featured items on display at the Center for Popular Music!

Earth Day ExhibitEarth Day display in the Center's Reading Room.

Music in Film display

Music In FIlm display in the Center's Reading Room.

Thanks for supporting another successful live broadcast of the Justin Reed Show from the Center's Reading Room

Friend of the Center, Justin Reed, hosted his show live from the Center for Popular Music's reading room on March 31, 2016! Luke Caccetta kicked off the show at 7 am with a little bit of country music, followed by story-teller and comedian Bruce Walker at 8 am, the Center's director, Greg Reish, played guitar, and bluegrass legend Jesse McReynolds brought the show to a close during the 9 o'clock hour. Our thanks to Justin for the great show and to everyone who came to the Center! For more information about the Justin Reed Show, please check out his website at You can tune into The Justin Reed Show on Thursday mornings from 7-10am on 88.3 FM WMTS.

Justin Reed Collage

The Center welcomed Gary Burr on Thursday, March 24th at 11:30am

Burr FlierASCAP/Billboard/NSAI Songwriter of the Year, Gary Burr, played in the Center's reading room to a standing-room-only crowd on March 24th! In cooperation with MTSU Songwriting, the CPM welcomed songwriter Gary Burr. With 32 top 40 hits, including 14 number ones, to his credit, Burr has written for Tim McGraw, Juice Newton, Kathy Mattea, Kelly Clarkson, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and many more. Burr shared stories and played his music during this event, which was free and open to the public. Thank you so much for making this event such a success!

For more information about Gary Burr, be sure to check out The Official Gary Burr Site. Additional information about the event can be found on the Facebook event page.

Thanks for joining us for an Evening of Conjunto Music on Wednesday, March 23rd 

Conjunto ProgramThe Center for Popular Music welcomed Lorenzo Martinez and Ramon "Rabbit" Sanchez for a music performance in the Tejano style called conjunto late March. These masters of conjunto shared their music and many wonderful stories about this rich tradition of Mexican-American music. Scholar and festival organizer Dr. Dan Margolies, who has worked with these musicians and been involved with the Texas folk music scene for many years, moderated and provided historical and cultural context. 

The concert was held in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building on Middle Tennessee State University's campus at 7:30 pm on March 23rd

The Center featured two displays for Black History Month

The Center celebrated Black History Month with two new exhibits. The exhibits, A Musical Snapshot of History: Celebrating African American Heritage, featured amazing artists like Count Basie, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Lamont Dozier, The Notorious BIG, Donna Summer, and other gems from our collection. One exhibit was housed in the Center for Popular music and can be viewed during normal CPM business hours. A second display was housed in Walker Library's atrium through the month of February.

CPM ExhibitA Musical Snapshot of History: Celebrating African American Heritage can be viewed in the Center for Popular Music....

Walker ExhibitOr in the atrium at Walker Library!

Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon Floor now available for purchase!

You can now get your very own copy of Spring Fed Records' latest release, Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon Floor! This album (and others) is available via the marketplace on the Spring Fed Records website. Digital downloads of the album are also available via CD Baby. More outlets are to come soon, but you can always get any of the Spring Fed Records catalog (or SFR shirts, stickers, and more) at Spring Fed Records events.


Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon Floor is brand new release of home recordings made by John Hartford and fiddling legend Howdy Forrester. This recording preserves a repertoire of many rare, old Hickman County, Tennessee, tunes that Howdy had learned as a boy from his Great Uncle, Bob Cates. Hartford plays banjo, Forrester fiddles, and the two share informal discussion about the tunes and their sources. Along with the remastered recordings, the CD package also includes detailed liner notes and transcriptions for all for the tunes by Jim Wood.

Thanks for joining us for the Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon floor release party!

Thanks for joining Spring Fed Records and the Center for Popular Music for the Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon Floor release party! The release party, which took place January 14th at the Inglewood American Legion Post #82, was a big success and a great time. Stay tuned here and on the Spring Fed Records website and Facebook page for more SFR events!

HFReleasePictured (Left to Right): Jim Wood, Tracy Latham, Inge Wood, Andy Todd, & Ben Ayers.

Elijah Wald visited the Center on November 18th to discuss his latest book, Dylan Goes Electric!

Wald Poster

The Center for Popular Music welcomed author and musician Elijah Wald for a book talk on November 18th held at the MTSU Student Union. Wald is author of such books as Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll, and Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap. 

His latest book, Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties, examines Dylan's iconic performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 within its broader cultural, political, and historical context. You can read more about the book on Elijah Wald's homepage here

Acclaimed Motown Songwriter Lamont Dozier named the Second Fellow of the Center for Popular Music

The Center for Popular Music is proud to announce that famed songwriter, producer, and performing artist Lamont Dozier was named a Fellow of the Center for Popular Music. Prior to the award ceremony, Dozier toured the Center for Popular Music and spoke with students and staff.

As part of the celebrated songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier penned fifty-four #1 hits for Motown artists including The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and The Four Tops. A few of those now iconic songs that have become part of the very fabric of American musical culture, are "How Sweet It Is," "Where Did Our Love Go," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "I'll Be There," and "Stop! In the Name of Love." In addition to his unparalleled success as a songwriter, Mr. Dozier is a producer and Grammy-winning recording artist whose career has lasted half a century.

Photos from Lamont Dozier's visit to the Center for Popular Music
The CPM Fellows program was established to honor individuals of extraordinary accomplishment in the music industry, and is the CPM's highest honor. Mr. Dozier was named the second Fellow, after Barry Gibb was named inaugural Fellow in October 2013.

 American Vernacular Music Manuscripts Website

AVMM image 4The CPM invites music researchers to explore the new website for its American Vernacular Music Manuscripts (AVMM) Project.  The NEH-grant funded project was a joint effort by the CPM and the American Antiquarian Society. It involved scanning, cataloging, and offering online access to hundreds of early American handwritten music manuscripts, including one with this striking page from the 1860s. For more information, and to see the main project website, go to:  The scans of the manuscripts can be viewed at

Acclaimed Motown Songwriter Lamont Dozier named a fellow of the Center for Popular Music

Dozier poster

The Center for Popular Music is proud to announce that famed songwriter, producer, and performing artist Lamont Dozier was named a Fellow of the Center for Popular Music. The award ceremony and a conversation between Mr. Dozier and MTSU Recording Industry faculty member Fred Cannon (Dozier's former manager) was held on Wednesday, October 21st.

The CPM Fellows program was established to honor individuals of extraordinary accomplishment in the music industry, and is the CPM's highest honor. Mr. Dozier was named the second Fellow, after Bary Gibb was named inaugural Fellow in October 2013.

As part of the celebrated songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier penned fifty-four #1 hits for Motown artists including The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and The Four Tops. A few of those now iconic songs that have become part of the very fabric of American musical culture, are "How Sweet It Is," "Where Did Our Love Go," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "I'll Be There," and "Stop! In the Name of Love." In addition to his unparalleled success as a songwriter, Mr. Dozier is a producer and Grammy-winning recording artist whose career has lasted half a century.



Philip Paul visited the CPM on October 8th

Philip Paul poster

The CPM welcomed celebrated drummer Philip Paul on the 8th of October. He talked about his music and gave a demonstration of some of the distinctive grooves he provided for many famous recordings over the course of his distinguished career. Beginning his life as a professional musician in the mid-1940s, and working as a session musician at Cincinnati's famed King Records, Paul has played and recorded with a staggering array of artists across numerous genres: Sonny Stitt, Bud Powell, Freddie King, Grandpa Jones, the Stanley Brothers, Wynonie "Blues" Harris, Hank Ballard, Cowboy Copas, Jimmy Smith, John Lee Hooker, Herbie Mann, and Peter Frampton, to name but a few!

The event took place Thursday, October 8 at 5:00 pm in MTSU's Learning Resources Center, Room 221.


The CPM welcomed Jayme Stone's Lomax Project on September 30

Jayme Stone Poster



The Center for Popular Music presented world-renowned banjoist, composer, and instigator Jayme Stone with his Lomax Project on Wednesday, September 30. The Lomax Project features brilliant contemporary interpretations of seminal field recordings made by folklorist Alan Lomax in the early and mid-twentieth century.

Stone and his group of young virtuosi conducted a workshop with students from MTSU's School of Music at 1:00 in Hinton Hall, and performed a concert at 7:30 in the KUC Theater.









Fiddler Matt Brown Performed at MTSU on April 9, sponsored by the CPM!

 Matt Brown

Here he is performing in the Atrium of the Walker Library at MTSU with CPM Director Greg Reish on guitar. Matt and Greg also hosted a popular old-time jam session at the CPM later in the evening.  Matt's promotional materials include the following description: "Matt Brown performs American roots music with an expansive repertoire of toe-tapping square dance tunes, haunting solo pieces, and a variety of songs from the blues to ballads. He is an innovative fiddler, an intricate banjo player, a propulsive guitar player, and a poignant singer. While much of his repertoire comes from the Appalachian south, he also loves sharing the songs of his home state, Pennsylvania. Matt delights his audiences with a wry sense of humor and a sound that is both authentic and inventive. Matt’s childhood included fiddlers’ conventions, square dances, and string band rehearsals in the living room. Matt has performed at a variety of prestigious venues including The Kennedy Center, Club Passim, the Ozark Folk Center, the University of Kentucky, the Annenberg Center, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and The Wheatland Music Festival. Matt Brown has been on staff at The Colorado Suzuki Institute, The Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, The Swannanoa Gathering, and Southern Week at Ashokan, and has taught workshops at Berklee College of Music, the Old Town School of Folk Music, and Morehead State University. In addition to being a performer and a teacher, he is also an active producer, a studio musician, and a partner in 5-String Productions, an independent record label specializing in acoustic music. Matt is featured on the cover of the Spring 2010 issue of Fiddler Magazine."


TurntableCPM "The Stacks"; An iPad App!

The Center for Popular Music has its own iPad app, "The Stacks"! Special thanks to Leslie Haines, Val Hoeppner, and their talented Mass Comm students for putting together this amazing magazine app that showcases so much of what we are and what we do!  Available FREE of charge at the App Store (iPad only). Check it out at

The CMP had a great time hosting the 100th "The Justin Reed Show" on April 9

Justin Reed Show

Want to know more about the show? This is from Justin's website: “The Justin Reed Show is a two hour radio show on 88.3 FM WMTS on the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. On each show, we play the best in classic country, bluegrass, Americana, classic and Southern rock! Listen each week to hear music from Middle Tennessee "locals" like Uncle Dave Macon, Jimmy C. Newman, and more from vinyl to CD from mp3s, we play it all! From hearing the cracks and pops on Johnny Cash's 1956 "Folsom Prison Blues" 45 rpm single to having a live studio guest, along with news, weather and sports, The Justin Reed Show's got it all! Tune in and hear what all the buzz is about!” 

Bluegrass Guitarist Brian Sutton Performs at MTSU on March 16

Bryan Sutton

On March 16, award-winning bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton wowed a crowd at MTSU with his guitar wizardry and his stories about his life, his approaches to music, and his technique.  He appeared as part of CPM's "The American Guitar" series, launched in 2014.  From Sutton’s homepage: “Bryan Sutton is one of the most sought after acoustic guitarists on the planet . Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Bryan grew up in a musical family and was immersed in the rich heritage of western North Carolina music. Sutton entered the bluegrass world in 1995 as a member of Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder band, playing on two Grammy award winning records. After his tenure with Skaggs, Bryan went on to build a career as a top studio guitarists in Nashville. His playing can be heard along side such names as Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Harry Connick Jr.. Always striving to keep his bluegrass roots strong, Bryan has also released four solo projects and has toured around the world with artists like Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, and as a member of the legendary bluegrass band, Hot Rize. Sutton has been honored as a six time winner of the IBMA's Guitarist of the Year, and received a Grammy in 2007 for "Best Country Instrumental Performance" for his duet recording with Doc Watson. Bryan now balances a busy schedule of recording, touring, and teaching online as part of the Artist Works group.”


Older News Items


CPM Sponsors Barry Mazor's Presentation on Ralph Peer

  Barry Mazor

 Visiting author Barry Mazor, in his lecture/interview at MTSU on January 26, 2015, spoke to a large group of faculty and students about the unheralded but extraordinary role Ralph Peer (1892-1960) played in bringing popular music styles, especially "roots music" styles, to the public. While many people know of Peer's Bristol Sessions in 1927, which introduced several country music legends, few know about his significant role in introducing major jazz, blues, R&B, Latin, gospel, and rock 'n' roll artists and styles. Mazor outlines Peer's multifaceted life in his new book Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music (Chicago Review Press, 2015). After Mazor's lecture, CPM Director Greg Reish interviewed him about his work, and moderated questions from the audience. Mazor stayed to answer questions and sign copies of his book at the close of the event.

The latest big-name visitor to the Center for Popular Music is jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath


At the highest level as a jazz artist, Jimmy Heath led or played in groups with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and many others. Mr. Heath performed on October 20 at MTSU's Hinton Hall.

Spring Fed Records Has a New Home at the Center for Popular Music!

The Center for Popular Music has acquired the renowned Spring Fed Records from the Arts Center of Cannon County. Founded in 2002, Spring Fed Records is devoted to issuing recordings of traditional Southern music, including old-time country, blues and gospel by artists such as Uncle Dave Macon, Sam and Kirk McGee, The Fairfield Four, Frazier Moss and Mississippi John Hurt

. The label’s compilation of field recordings by African-American folklorist John Work III won a Grammy in 2008. CPM staffer John Fabke will manage its day-to-day operations, and MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainments will assist with production and marketing. For more information, see Gina E. Fann’s article at

Spring Fed logo

Gregory N. ReishDr. Gregory N. Reish Appointed Third Director of the Center for Popular Music

Dr. Gregory N. Reish has accepted appointment as the third Director of the Center for Popular Music and Professor of Musicology at Middle Tennessee State University. "I am deeply honored and utterly thrilled to have been selected to lead the Center for Popular Music into the next, exciting phases of its development, and look forward eagerly to joining the remarkable team at MTSU," he reports.

Dr. Reish comes to MTSU from Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he is currently Associate Professor of Music History. He is now in the final stages of preparation for a book on American vernacular guitar styles from the mid-19th century through bluegrass and country music of the 1940s. He has written and presented widely in the field of American guitar styles and on avant-garde music in 20th-century Italy.

Greg is also an accomplished string player, and performs widely on guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele, and as a singer, in styles ranging from bluegrass to old-time to country. In addition he is widely sought for workshops.

Dr. Reish began his work as the CPM director on July 1, 2014.

Anne MacFie Performs at the CPM

Anne MacFie, a folksinger/songwriter/storyteller from eastern Kentucky, presented a lunchtime concert at the Center for Popular Music on Friday, April 25, 2014, noon. Anne collected many of the traditional ballads and stories she performs from her Appalachian foothills neighbors. She has also worked with and learned from artists such as Lily May Ledford, Jean Ritchie, and Almeda Riddle. A professional musician since 1969, Anne has performed all over the continental United States and in eleven European and Near Eastern countries. She has recorded three solo albums, two more as a member of the Twa Sisters duo, and one with the Civil War ensemble, Privates By Choice. For many years Anne MacFie has given summer concerts and directed music festivals in the Kentucky State Parks, including Pine Mountain's Great American Dulcimer Convention, and for the National Parks and Forests. She has taught classes and workshops for festivals and folk camps, such as Kentucky Music Week, Swannanoa Gathering, and Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival, and is the folksong instructor for annual Road Scholar programs on Appalachian culture. She is also an accomplished and acclaimed songwriter who has been called "the best songwriter in Kentucky today." Her songs are regularly performed by artists such as Kentucky Standard and the Gallier Brothers Band. For more information about her, go to:

Each week The Center for Popular Music will present one MusicSprings video created in partnership with the Arts Center of Cannon County. The series can be accessed in its entirety by clicking HERE. In this next installment of our MusicSprings series, we are proud to present, "Happy Birthday"

The Center for Popular Music (CPM) is a research center devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America. The Center maintains an archive of research materials stretching from the early eighteenth century to the present and develops and sponsors programs in vernacular music. Anyone is welcome to use the CPM’s collections and services for research and scholarly pursuits. 


The Tennessee Folklore Society's annual meeting was held at the Center for Popular Music On October 25, 1014.

 TFS Group

The photo below shows three of the busiest presenters: Roby Cogswell, soon-to-be-retiring Tennessee Folk Arts Coordinator; Shawn Pitts, current President of the Society; and Steve Davis, who managed the Davis Unlimited record label.

 AFS Cogswell, Pitts, Davis

The next photo shows the panel of three people who have managed folk music recording labels: David Evans who managed High Water Recording Company, John Fabke who manages Spring Fed Records, and Steve Davis who managed Davis Unlimited Records; along with moderator Roby Cogswell.

 Recording label managers

Among the presenters were two graduate students. Karen Hogg of Western Kentucky University spoke about the Charles Wolfe Collection, and Daniel Fleck of the University of Memphis spoke about Norman Blake.

 Hogg and Fleck

Attendees included longtime members of the Tennessee Folklore Society and Tennessee Tech professors Graham and Bettye Kash.

The Kashes 

  Here's the program schedule:

Time Event
10:00 a.m. Sign In
10:30 a.m. Opening Remarks and Annual Business Meeting (Shawn Pitts, Selmer) 
11:00 a.m.  Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program (Robert Cogswell and Dana Everts-Boehm, Nashville) 
11:30 a.m.   The Life and Music of Norman Blake, Old-Time Country Musician (Daniel Fleck, Memphis)
Noon  Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. Center for Popular Music Presentation and Tour (Greg Reish and Martin Fisher, Murfreesboro)
1:30 p.m. Indexing the Charles K. Wolfe Audio Collection (Karen Hogg, Bowling Green KY)
2:00 p.m. Recording Tennessee Folk Music for High Water Records (David Evans, Millington)
2:30 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Davis Unlimited Records: Recording Traditional Music in the 1960s-70s (Steve Davis, Hideaway TX)
3:30 p.m. Facing the Music: Material Issues Related to Nonprofit and Small Label Release (Panel) (Steve Davis, David Evans, John Fabke - Moderated by Cogswell)
4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks (Shawn Pitts, Selmer)

For more information see:

If you missed folk music scholar Stephen Wade's concerts and talks at MTSU on September 24-25, 2014, here's some information from the event.

Stephen Wade poster

Renowned folk scholar and Grammy nominee Stephen Wade brought the music, stories and photos of the American South to MTSU in September 2014. The event featured free public concerts and chats. Wade’s visit was part of the university’s Tom T. Hall Writers Series and was co-sponsored by the College of Media and Entertainment’s Center for Popular Music.

The largest event, “A Concert and Conversation with Stephen Wade,” was held Thursday, September 25, at 5 p.m. in Room S102 of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building. Wade also performed a mini-concert at noon Wednesday, September 24, in MTSU’s James Walker Library Atrium, followed by an informal meet-and-greet session in the library¹s Periodicals Lounge from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Additionally, he made an appearance on WMTS FM-88.3’s “Justin Reed Show before a live audience Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Center for Popular Music Reading Room, located inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building.

Wade’s performances blended live music, projected imagery and spoken narrative to explore the stories in his award-winning 504-page book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press, 2012). The book tells the fascinating stories of iconic Library of Congress field recordings made between 1934 and 1942, from Southern Appalachia down to the Mississippi Delta. Wade spent years researching the people behind these recordings, and worked closely with their descendants. To learn more about the book and music, visit

Wade developed acclaimed theater performances, including “Banjo Dancing” and “On The Way Home,” to share his love of folk music and history. Wade also was a part of the public television documentary “The Unquiet Library,” a study of the Library of Congress’s music division, and has authored essays, reviews and articles published around the country. He has recorded and/or produced more than a dozen albums, including his most recent, the Grammy-nominated “Banjo Diary: Lessons from Traditions” on the Smithsonian Folkways label.

Wade’s appearances were co-sponsored by the MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, Center for Popular Music, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, School of Music, and the Virginia Peck Trust.

Dale Cockrell retired as Director of the Center for Popular Music on June 30, 2014. Here are some photos from his retirement party.

Greg and Dale

New CPM Director, Dr. Greg Reish, is welcomed to his new role by Dale.


Brad Bartell 

Provost Brad Bartel shares stories about Dale, and emphasizes his own strong vision for the CPM.



Lucinda Cockrell shares a poem that summarizes Dale's accomplishments.


Doug Seroff

Nationally-known scholars such as Doug Seroff stopped by.


Mary Dean Wolfe

Special friends of the CPM such as Mary Dean Wolfe come to offer their best wishes.


John Fabke with Dale

CPM staff member John Fabke gives Dale a special pen as a symbol of his appreciation.


Group A

Group A


"Wicked Good Fiddling" Exhibit Features Music Manuscripts from the CPM

Wicked Fiddling 1

Wicked Fiddling 2

Wicked Fiddling 3

These photos are from the June 6 opening of the exhibit “Wicked Good Fiddling! 200 Years of Fiddling, Fiddlers, and Fiddle Making in Maine,” in the Lewis Gallery of the Portland Public Library, in Portland, Maine. The exhibit was curated by Paul F. Wells, Director Emeritus of CPM (who now makes his home in Maine) and Thomas A. Wilsbach, Arts Librarian at the PPL. Maine has a rich heritage of fiddling that encompasses strains of Yankee, Franco-American, Maritimes, and, to a lesser extent, Irish-American cultures. The exhibit explores and celebrates this heritage by bringing together a wide range of materials—photographs, printed and manuscript tunebooks, sound recordings, concert flyers, and dance cards—that document the Pine Tree State’s vibrant fiddling traditions. Maine has also been home to a surprising number of fiddle makers; researchers have identified more than 200 professional and amateur craftspeople in Maine who have made violins.

Two 19th century tune manuscripts with a Maine provenance from the CPM collections (seen in the display cases here) are key components of the exhibit. These two items, which Wells acquired for CPM during his tenure as Director, provide important documentation of the history of the New England fiddle tune repertoire. The exhibit also features materials from the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress, from the Maine Historical Society, from many individuals within the Maine fiddling community, and from Wells’ personal collection. The production of “Wicked Good Fiddling!” was supported by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council. It is open until August 15.

The American Guitar Exhibit is now on display at the CPM

American guitar poster

The Center for Popular Music is proud to present a selection of materials from our collection for the American Guitar exhibit!

Guitar Exhibit A

Guitar exhibit B

Take Another Look at Our Previous Exhibit on George Jones

George Jones wide

Our last exhibit in the Center for Popular Music's Reading Room cases was a tribute to George Jones. Elaura Highfield, a Graduate Assistant working toward a Masters degree in Public History pulled a sampling of materials from the CPM's collections to create the exhibit. They included sound recordings of all formats (did you know that George Jones recorded 78 rpms on the Starday and Dixie labels?), photographs, songbooks, newspaper clippings, autographs, posters, tickets, and other ephemera.

 George Jones left

George Jones right


Take 6 inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame!

Take 6

Take 6, renowed a cappella gospel music sextet, to be inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame. The group, which includes CPM Advisory Council member Cedric Dent, integrates R&B and jazz influences into their devotional songs. They have garned ten Grammy wins, ten Dove Awards, one Soul Train Award and two NAACP Image Award nominations. Collaborations have included work with Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Don Henley, Ray Charles, Queen Latifah, Joe Sample, Quincy Jones, Marcus Miller, Brian McKnight, Gordon Goodwin, k.d. lang, Luis Miguel, Ben Tankard, Al Jarreau, and CeCe Winans.

CPM Updates its Storage Media


We have a new server! If you are in the business of archiving music, this is cause for a celebration. In order to accommodate our ever-increasing archival storage needs, the CPM has invested in a new larger-capacity server. We use the best practices and standards for all of our archived digital audio and image files and they are large. We have other projects going on as well, and we have a back-up and migration process that insures the future longevity of all of our efforts.

CPM featured in a Murfreesboro Post article about Barry Gibbs recent appearance.

Barry Gibb 3s

The Center for Popular Music has been featured in a recent Murfreesboro Post article delivering a personal take on Barry Gibb's appearance at MTSU. Written by Steve Morley, the article discusses the night in a macro fashion as well as from the perspective of the author.

Check out the full article on the website of The Murfreesboro Post: "All Gibb, No Glib: A Bee Gee Brings Glee to Middle Tennessee"

CPM featured in an NPR article about the importance of archives

Ma Rainey

The Center for Popular Music has been featured in a recent NPR article about "why archives matter." Written by Ann Powers, the article explores the value of musical history and describres her experiences within the archives of the Nashville area.

Check out the full article on NPR's website: "Holding Music History In Your Hands: Why Archives Matter"

Singer-songwriter Barry Gibb named inaugural fellow of MTSU's Center for Popular Music


MURFREESBORO — Legendary singer and songwriter Barry Gibb was honored Monday night as the inaugural fellow of The Center for Popular Music at MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment.

Gibb, a founding member of the pop-sensation Bee Gees, received the honor before speaking at MTSU's Tucker Theatre for an event billed as his first lecture and performance combination.

The artist came to campus at the invitation of John Merchant, an assistant professor in MTSU's Department of Recording Industry who toured with Gibb for years as part of his sound production team.

"Barry Gibb's career has been characterized by its breadth, depth and consistently high quality, embracing shifts in popular music with intuitive ease — and emerging at the top of the charts in five different decades," said Ken Paulson, dean of the college, who helped present the honor to Gibb.

"We are pleased to honor his singular achievements in popular music."

The fellowship recognizes Gibb's extraordinary accomplishments as a performer, songwriter and producer. He is cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most successful songwriter after Paul McCartney.

Gibb and his brothers have been topping the charts since the 1960s, becoming the only group in pop history to write, produce and record six straight No. 1 hits. The Bee Gees had 16 Grammy nominations and nine Grammy wins.

Gibb also has had No. 1 songs in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s 1990s and 2000s and is the only songwriter in history to write four successive U.S. No. 1 hits: The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" in 1978, replaced by youngest Gibb brother Andy's single, "Love Is Thicker Than Water," followed by the Bee Gees' seven-week run for "Night Fever" and Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You."

The Bee Gees' and Elliman's singles all originated with one of the top-selling albums of all time, the film soundtrack from "Saturday Night Fever."

Dr. Dale Cockrell, director of the Center for Popular Music, said Gibb's honor is the first of its kind conferred by his organization.

"The Center for Popular Music has long provided special opportunities for the study of popular music and encouraged his appreciation and enjoyment," Cockrell said. "With its Fellow program, it begins to recognize those who have made special contributions to its development.

"No one deserves this inaugural honor more than Barry Gibb, who has for five decades provided the soundtrack to American lives."

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said Gibb's honor also underscored the important work by the center, which was established in 1985 as a state-sponsored Center for Excellence with a mission to promote research in American vernacular music.

McPhee said the center works to "foster an understanding and appreciation of America's diverse musical culture."

"The Center for Popular Music is a premier, singular element of our university," the president said. "Mr. Gibb's record of accomplishment and body of work reflects the very best of what our center was established to study and preserve."

Recording Industry Chair Beverly Keel said she was pleased that Gibb's appearance at MTSU provided an opportunity for the center — and the entire university community — to connect with the legendary performer.

"We take pride in providing top-notch opportunities for our students to learn from the best," Keel said. "Professor Merchant's ties to Mr. Gibb allowed the university to benefit from one of the greatest musical talents in popular music."

Here are some photographs from the event:








The Center for Popular Music Releases its 2012-13 Annual Report

2013 annual report

The Center for Popular Music has just releases its 2012-13 annual report! The report includes information about the center's collection, programs, exhibits, research, and more.

CLICK HERE, to open the report in PDF format, or click the following link to be directed to the center's annual report page: "Annual Reports"

The Center for Popular Music Works to Make History Accessible

John Fabke            

The Center for Popular Music has been featured in a recent dnj article for its important work.

For the full article, visit the source's website: "MTSU's Center for Popular Music works to show past musical sensibilites"        


Dale Cockrell elected to the Board of Trustees of the International Bluegrass Music Museum

Dale Cockrell

Dr. Dale Cockrell, Director of the Center for Popular Music, has recently been elected to the Board of Trustees of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.  Dr. Cockrell has had a long relationship with the Museum, for he (along with Assistant Director Lucinda Cockrell) was part of the design team that led the renovation of the Museum in 2001.

To find out more, visit the museum's official website: "The International Bluegrass Music Museum"        



Center Receives Joel S. Herron Collection

Joel S. HerronThe Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University has recently aquired a collection of scores, photographs, and other historical materials belonging to the late songwriter and arranger, Joel S. Herron. The collection was generously donated by Herron's son, Roark Herron, adding to the center's prestigious collection of works.

Herron is most known for writing the music to Frank Sinatra's hit, "I'm a Fool to Want You." He also wrote over 100 other copyrighted works and regulary led an orchestra in some of New York's biggest clubs.

See the complete story at MTSU NEWS: "MTSU Center for Popular Music welcomes songwriter's works"        


Center Receives Preservation Implementation Grant from GRAMMY Foundation®

GRAMMY FoundationThe Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University has been awarded $19,993 by the GRAMMY Foundation to inventory, preserve, and provide access to the Charles K. Wolfe Audio Collection.

There are nearly 4,000 tapes in the Wolfe Audio Collection, many of which are oral histories of musicians or field recordings. Dating from the 1930s–2000, this is likely the premier collection in the American Mid-South region. The Center will inventory the contents, conserve the recordings, transcribe to digital format when appropriate, and make the collection publicly accessible.

See the complete press release from The Recording Academy: "GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program Awards $200,000 for Music Research and Sound Preservation" (     PDF: GRAMMY2013pressrelease_final.pdf (161 KB).

CPM Partners with Arts Center of Cannon County on MusicSprings Project

Thomas A. Edison (BIO-PR-00039)

Thomas A. Edison (BIO-PR-00039)   Click for larger image.

MusicSprings is a project of the Arts Center of Cannon County (Tennessee) in partnership with the Center for Popular Music.  This National Endowment for the Arts-funded series of "webisodes" on the sources of Southern music will be released on the Internet and through social media later this year.  "Edison" is a preview of what is to come.


Dale Cockrell Appears on WGBH
        The Director of the Center for Popular Music, Dr. Dale Cockrell, can be heard on Let Freedom Sing: Music of the Abolitionists. The program, produced by WGBH in Boston and hosted by NPR's Noah Adams, provides a "chronicle of the idealistic artists, uncompromising personalities, and powerful music of the era, and looks at how these forces combined to turn abolitionism from a scorned fringe movement into a nation-changing force." Cockrell contributed greatly to the program and is interview extensively. In addition to WGBH, the program will air on public radio stations around the country.

Additional information about the program, including a playlist of the songs included, may be found at:      

Listen to Let Freedom Sing: Music of the Abolitionists in the player below.    

CPM, in Partnership with Linebaugh Library and City of Murfreesboro, Selected to Host America's Music Film Discussion Series

The Center for Popular Music, in partnership with Linebaugh Library and the City of Murfreesboro, has been selected as one of 50 sites nationwide to participate in America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway.

America's Music is a six-week series of public programs, created by the Tribeca Film Institute in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in consultation with the Society for American Music. The public programs will feature documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions, exploring how twentieth-century American popular music is connected to the history, culture, and geography of the United States. The six films focus on these uniquely American musical traditions: blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock, and mambo and hip hop. Dr. Felicia Miyakawa, MTSU Associate Professor of Musicology, will serve as project scholar, introducing and guiding discussion of each film. Screenings of the films will be held at Linebaugh Library. Additionally, CPM, Linebaugh, and the City will organize free and open concerts on the City Plaza to complement the films.            

The grant includes an award of $2500 from NEH to cover training expenses and support local programming to accompany the films. America's Music will be held in Spring of 2013. Check our website for dates and for additional details about accompanying lectures and concerts or call us at 615-898-2449.

 Center Receives Grant to Create Research Guide to Songs about Tennessee

The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University has been awarded a grant by the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board to produce "My Homeland" : A Research Guide to Songs about Tennessee.

A Selection of Songs about Tennessee

A selection of songs about Tennessee (click to view larger image)

The Center will identify, preserve, and make accessible through a website a unique collection of songs about Tennessee held in its archives.

Perhaps more than any other state, Tennessee is associated with music.  While many thousands of songs have been written in Tennessee over the last century, hundreds and hundreds have also been written about Tennessee.  Because resources have been scattered, there has never been a systematic effort to gather and organize this powerful music.

Within the last few years, The Center for Popular Music has acquired two major collections of songs about Tennessee:  The John S. Mitchell Collection of Tennessee Music (which contains 1,413 sound recordings, 589 pieces of sheet music, 24 books, 1 film, and 22 posters) and The Peter S. LaPaglia Collection (76 select pieces of sheet music).  In addition to these collections, the Center has complementary materials in its general holdings.

The grant will enable the Center to draw from these unique collections and develop a sophisticated, web-based research guide to music about Tennessee.  Approximately 500-550 records will be digitized and incorporated into the website, with a special section on the state songs of Tennessee.

Teachers will find materials appropriate for use in classrooms, and students and interested patrons will find compelling songs and images.

See press coverage from The Tennessean: "MTSU Archivists Catalogue Tennessee Songs" by Dipti Vaidya, The Tennessean, July 11, 2012. (

"Interactive Website Will Immortalize Songs about Tennessee" by Tony Gonzalez, The Tennessean, July 11, 2012. (

Charles Hamm and Dale Cockrell

(l-r) Katherine Preston, SAM President; Anne Dhu McLucas, presenter; Paul F. Wells

Paul Wells Honored by Society for American Music.

Paul Wells, Director Emeritus of the Center, received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Society for American Music (SAM) during their 2012 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC. "This honor is given by the Board of Trustees to a current member of the Society who has given exemplary and continued service to the Society and its mission."

The full citation reads:  Paul F. Wells has been a member of the Society for American Music since 1987 and has served the organization in many capacities:  He has chaired or served on nearly every committee of the organization, including publications, nominating, program, honors, editorial board (twice), conference management, as well as the interest group on folk and traditional music from 2009-2011.  He was on the board from 1990-1992, served as President-elect, President, and past President from 2000-2004, and hosted a most memorable Nashville meeting in 1989, when the late, great Bill Monroe was awarded honorary membership.  Not only did Paul get him to the meeting (something which does not always happen with our honorary members), but also had him play for the banquet. Dancing to the music of the legendary bluegrass master is something those of us who experienced it will never forget!

Paul has always been a voice for remembering that side of American music that celebrates music of the vernacular, as well as of those people who make it happen. While on the Honors Committee and afterward, Paul was instrumental in getting honorary memberships for the Georgia Sea Island Singers in 2000, for country singer Loretta Lynn in 2002, for the folk singer and scholar, Mike Seeger in 2003, and for the legendary record producers of Arhoolie and Indian House, Chris Strachwitz in 2004, and Tony Isaacs in 2009.

His many papers and publications on various fiddle traditions in the U.S. have been memorable, and most recently, he and his wife, Sally Sommers Smith, were guest editors for the special issue of the Journal of the Society for American Music on Irish American music—a first of its kind.  Beyond his contributions, Paul has been a great friend and research resource for many of us. Always good for a beer and conversation, he has been a fixture at our annual meetings.

One of the mainstays of the Society for American Music, we honor Paul Wells for his truly distinguished service and contributions to the spirit and substance of this organization.

The Center congratulates Paul on this honor!


Pa's Fiddle: The Music of America to Premiere as National Pledge Special in June
      Keep an eye on your local PBS listings this June. That's when Pa's Fiddle: The Music of America will premiere as a National Pledge Special. Artists appearing on the program include Randy Travis, Rodney Atkins, Ronnie Milsap, Committed, Natalie Grant, Ashton Shepherd, and The Roys -- accompanied by an all-star Nashville band led by Grammy-Winner Randy Scruggs and featuring drummer Chad Cromwell, fiddler Matt Combs, and Hoot Hester on mandolin. Historic background on the music is provided by the Center's own Dale Cockrell. In the meantime, watch this extended trailer for the program.    

Mike Alleye being interviewed on Jamaican TV

Mike Alleyne being interviewed on Jamaican TV (image courtesy of Mike Alleyne)

Alleyne Delivers 15th Annual Bob Marley Lecture
Dr. Mike Alleyne, a member of the Center for Popular Music's Advisory Council and Professor in the Department of Recording Industry at MTSU, delivered the 15th Annual Bob Marley Lecture at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica on February 16, 2012. The lecture, titled "For the Record: Bob Marley's Island Albums and the 40th Anniversary of Catch a Fire," focused on the albums Marley released through Island Records before his untimely death. "'Catch A Fire' Begins The Marley Legend - 15th Annual Bob Marley Symposium Draws Strong Crowd" (, an extended article about the lecture, appeared in the Sunday, February 19, 2012 issue of the Jamaican newspaper, The Gleaner.

On a related note, Alleyne's newest book, The Encyclopedia of Reggae is currently in publication and is scheduled for release in November 2012 through Sterling Publishing.

Dale Cockrell & The Pa's Fiddle Project Come to PBS
      A concert based on the music written about in the Little House on the Prairie series of books by author Laura Ingalls Wilder, was filmed on Friday, January 6th, 2012, at the Loveless Barn in Bellevue, TN before a live audience, for broadcast by the PBS television network. Pa's Fiddle: America's Music will broadcast first during the June pledge-drive  season on PBS stations throughout the nation, and be available to those  stations for broadcast over the next two years.

Artists performing included award-winning musician and musical director Randy Scruggs and an all-star string band, Randy Travis, Rodney Atkins, Ronnie Milsap, Ashton Shepherd, The Roys, Natalie Grant, and Committed (NBC Sing Off Champions).

Dean Butler, who played "Almanzo" on the Little House on the Prairie TV show, and the Center's own Dale Cockrell, who also happens to be President of Pa's Fiddle Recordings, teamed up to produce this unique show that featured these top-level artists performing and giving their best interpretations of the great American songs and tunes loved by Pa and Laura Ingalls during their lifetime. A documentary about the making of the show is also being produced by MTSU and will be widely available for educational purposes.

CPM Website redesigned

To commemorate the occasion, a brand new album will be released by Pa's Fiddle Recordings, titled Pa's Fiddle: American Fiddler. The CD will be in stores first on June 5th. It is, however, available as a pre-release special now at

This newest album spotlights the musical influence of Charles  "Pa" Ingalls. Ingalls, sometimes thought of as a fictional character, was quite the opposite. He is perhaps the least recognized old-time fiddler from the 19th-century who, courtesy of the Little House books written by his daughter Laura, we have the most documentation on, in return telling us much about his life and music. His actual fiddle is on permanent  display at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum in Mansfield, MO. We know the names of many of the tunes and songs he played, where he played them, for whom, and often why he chose them.

Hidden for decades in plain view, "Pa" Ingalls (1836-1902) was a central figure in the autobiographical stories told by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her Little House on the Prairie books. He was a highly regarded fiddler whose music making is captured by the 127 songs referenced in his daughter's books. It is surprising that this extraordinary musician is never included among the pantheon of American fiddlers, especially since he, his name, his stories, and accounts of his music-making are known to many millions the world over. Dale Cockrell has assembled and edited a scholarly collection of all 127 songs, entitled The Ingalls Wilder Family Songbook (A-R Editions, 2011).

The album, which features songs chronicled in the books, helps place Charles Ingalls among the first rank of old-time fiddlers whose influence is foundational to so much of modern American music. It tells of the power of music to transcend the years, as the "old" songs of Pa Ingalls becomes new again through exciting and dynamic performances by some of the today's finest acoustic musicians.

Great American songs on the CD include "Buffalo Gals," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Polly Put the Kettle On," "Life Let Us Cherish," "All the Blue Bonnets," "Golden Years Are Passing By," "Boatmen's Dance," "Mary of the Wild Moor," "The Campbells Are Coming," "Haste to the Wedding," and more.

Acoustic masters Bryan Sutton, Matt Flinner, Matt Combs, David Grier, Jeff Taylor, Dennis Crouch, and others bring these great American folk songs to life on the album, and make them palatable for young ears of today.

For more information on the PBS taping, the previous two installments in the series, The Arkansas Traveler: Music from Little House on the Prairie and Happy Land: Musical Tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Pa's Fiddle: Charles Ingalls - American Fiddler, please visit –

On the web         Twitter - @pasfiddle         Facebook - Pa's Fiddle         or contact Shari Lacy GoodStuff PR Co. / 615.525.5303 / or

Charles Hamm and Dale Cockrell

Dale Cockrell and Charles Hamm, Norwich, Vermont, October 2010

Charles Edward Hamm (1925-2011), eminent scholar in popular music studies, died on October 16, 2011, in Hanover, NH.

Dr. Hamm was Professor of music emeritus at Dartmouth College, and had also held positions at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Tulane University, and the University of Illinois-Urbana, as well as numerous special appointments.  He was the author of many books on American and Renaissance music and innumerable articles and reviews.  His seminal Yesterdays: Popular Song in America (W. W. Norton, 1979) remains the fullest treatment of the whole history of American popular music.  He was a former president of the American Musicological Society and was honored by that organization with Honorary Membership.  The Society for American Music honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Charles wrote the key consultant's report in 1985 that led to the establishment of the Center for Popular Music in 1986.  In several ways, the Center owes its existence to him.

In all, a giant has passed from the field, one the likes of which we shall not see again.

CPM Website redesignedDale Cockrell Named Director
After a nationwide search, Dr. Dale Cockrell has been appointed as the new Director of the Center for Popular Music, effective September 1, 2011. Dr. Cockrell has a distinguished academic, scholarly and professional record in Popular Music.  He comes to MTSU from Vanderbilt University, where he was Professor of Musicology in the Blair School of Music. He is the author of Demons of Disorder:  Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World, Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers, 1842-1846, and more than 100 other books, articles, papers and monographs devoted to the study of American popular music.  His books have won various awards, and he has been elected to numerous leadership positions, including the presidency of the Society for American Music

Dr. Cockrell has won several grants, including three NEH Fellowships.  He has held positions at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Indiana University, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, the College of William and Mary and the University of Alabama.  He edited The Ingalls Wilder Family Songbook (a critical edition of the music referenced in the Little House books), which was recently published. He is also founder and president of The Pa's Fiddle Project, an educational, scholarly and musical program dedicated to recording the music of the Little House books and to reconnecting the nation¹s children with the rich music legacies embedded in them. 

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American Vernacular Music Manuscripts

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Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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