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Bluegrass Music: Resources in the American Folklife Center

Related Online Resources

Through blog posts, podcasts and videos presentations of public programs and concerts, you can learn more about the American Folklife Center's collections directly from folklorists, specialists, and performers.

Folklife Today Blog

Folklife Today is a blog for people interested in folklore, folklife, and oral history. The blog features brief articles on folklife topics, highlighting the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress, especially the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project.

Highlighted Blog Posts

The highlighted blog posts below focus on the topic of bluegrass music.

Public Programs

Since its inception in 1976, the American Folklife Center has routinely hosted public programs at the Library of Congress in the form of concerts, lectures, panels, and symposia. From 2006 on, most of these public programs have been video recorded and made available online.

Playlists and Series

There are a number of playlists available on the YouTube page that gather videos from certain seasons of our Homegrown Concert series External or pull together various lectures as a sampler External of the types of topics covered. You can also simply search "folklife" on the YouTube page External to pull up hundreds of videos.

It is also possible to view entire series of American Folklife Center videos on the Library's website. Those links are provided below. Many (if not all) of the same videos can be found on the Library's YouTube channel.

Highlighted Public Programs

In the early 1960s, the multitalented musician, filmmaker, and photographer John Cohen journeyed to eastern Kentucky to document the songs of church-goers, miners, and farmers, and the rural community that produced and sustained their uniquely American sound. The result was "The High Lonesome Sound," a classic 1963 documentary film than evocatively illustrates how music and religion help Appalachian people maintain their dignity and traditions in the face of change and hardship. Featuring master traditional musician Roscoe Holcomb, Cohen's film also documented how different musical strands are synthesized in the playing of an individual performer. In this presentation, Cohen discussed the making of his influential documentary, its initial reception, and its continued impact in the shaping of documentary filmmaking and ethnographic research on traditional culture both in the United States and abroad. (Event date: June 11, 2009)

Collection of video and sound recordings of a concert featuring bluegrass and gospel band Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver in conjunction with their 2006 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award, performed in the Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, as part of the Homegrown concert series sponsored by the American Folklife Center. Lawson has taken the white and black gospel quartet singing traditions of the South and integrated them into bluegrass music. (Event date: September 13, 2016)