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Crooked Road Royalty on display at Bristol Public Library

September 1–30, 2010

Royal Exhibit at the Bristol Public Library Cruises Down the Crooked Road Music Trail
Southwest Virginians have an ear for music, and the new exhibit at the Bristol Public Library showcases the long history of picking and singing in the mountains. Crooked Road Royalty will be displayed in the Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery during the month of September.

Crooked Road Royalty highlights the careers of the Hill Billies, the Stoneman Family, the Carter Family, and the Stanley Brothers, four Virginian powerhouse groups that helped build the American country music industry. The exhibit includes rare film footage and photographs of historic Crooked Road musicians.

Today’s country musicians know their debt to Southwest Virginia’s musical royalty. In the 1920s the Hill Billies gave their name to an entire form of American music, and the Stoneman Family added over 200 recordings to the nation’s song bag. In the 1930s and early ‘40s the Carter Family’s sentimental songs soothed the country in hard times, and the Stanley Brothers put an old-time mountain legacy on bluegrass.

“The story of American country music is filled with singers and pickers from the Crooked Road region,” says Andrew Pauly, exhibit researcher. “Even today’s young country music stars know songs that were first recorded by the early Southwest Virginia artists.”

Crooked Road Royalty and Musical Styles Along the Crooked Road will travel to numerous venues in Southwest Virginia and beyond in the coming years. The exhibits have been produced by the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum, for the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, with funding from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification & Community Revitalization Commission.

Crooked Road Royalty runs through the month of September in the Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery at the Bristol Public Library. The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 9am — 8pm, Friday and Saturday, 9am — 5pm, and Sunday, 2pm-5pm.