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Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees: The Original Seldom Scene, Neil Rosenberg

Original Seldom SceneNashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association announced that the influential bluegrass band The Original Seldom Scene and bluegrass historian Neil Rosenberg will be inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at its Awards Show in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Ben Eldridge, John Starling, Mike Auldridge, Tom Gray and John Duffey (the latter two known for their prior work with The Country Gentlemen) formed the Seldom Scene in 1971. The band’s name referred to the fact that four of the five members had “day jobs” outside of music, and that they only played one night a week: a regular engagement at a local club, The Red Fox Inn. The intent of the band’s originators to play locally “just for the fun of it” in the Washington, DC region didn’t last long, as The Seldom Scene became a major force nationally in the bluegrass music world, emphasizing strong vocals combined with Duffey’s tongue-in-cheek, clean, adult humor, a combination that opened new doors for bluegrass with typical urban audiences.

The group drew from various sources, including rock, traditional bluegrass, country, and folk for their fresh, energetic music. A few of their many recorded songs are “Old Train,” “What Am I Doing Hanging Around?” “Wait a Minute,” “With the Small Exception of Me,” “Hello Mary Lou” and “Rider.” Between their bold willingness to explore a broad slice of American popular music, their impeccable musicianship and a stage presence that was both commanding and endearing, the Scene exemplified one strain of "progressive" bluegrass that both honored the past and led the way into the future. The era of the original members ended in September 1977, when Starling left the group to practice medicine in Montgomery, AL.

Personnel changes have been made over the years, with Ben Eldridge remaining as the single original member. The 1971-77 line-up of The Seldom Scene left an indelible imprint on bluegrass music, and the current band continues to feature vocal arrangements and instrumentals in that trademark style. Original members John Duffey died in 1996, and Mike Auldridge passed away in 2012.

Neil RosenbergNeil Rosenberg specializes in the study of contemporary folk music traditions, investigating the ways in which popular music interacts with local and regional folk music traditions, and examining processes of cultural revival. Rosenberg conducts research in Canada and the United States, focusing upon the lives and music of professional, semi-professional and amateur old-time, bluegrass, country and folk musicians. A performing musician since childhood, Rosenberg utilizes his skills and experiences in bluegrass, country, folk, jazz, classical and experimental music to gain a closer understanding of the processes he studied.

His books include Bluegrass: A History (1985), the definitive work on the genre, which was reprinted with a new preface for its 20th Anniversary Edition in 2005. Other books include Transforming Tradition (1993), a collection of studies on North American folk music revivals; and Bluegrass Odyssey: A Documentary in Pictures and Words (2001), co-authored with photographer Carl Fleischhauer of the Library of Congress. In 1996 he began working with the late Charles Wolfe on The Music of Bill Monroe, a bio-discography published in 2007 that updates and expands his long out-of-print Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys: An Illustrated Discography (1974). He has published over sixty articles and review essays. In 1981 he originated the column "Thirty Years Ago This Month" in Bluegrass Unlimited, and wrote it until 1993.

Formerly Recorded Sound Reviews Editor of the Journal of American Folklore, he has edited and written notes for many recordings, including a contribution to the brochure for the Smithsonian/Folkways reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music for which he won a 1997 Grammy Award. His most recent project is Saturday Night Jamboree on CBC Newfoundland, which he produced for Memorial University's Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place. Rosenberg is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society, and recipient of the Marius Barbeau Medal for lifetime achievement from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada. Rosenberg received IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 1986.

Founded in 1991, the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, housed in the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY, is an institution devoted to the recognition of noteworthy individuals for outstanding contributions to bluegrass music. Each year a nominating committee, consisting of music industry leaders, creates a slate of 10-15 candidates. From these names, a panel of more than 200 electors in the music industry cast ballots to narrow the nominees to five finalists. The panel votes a final time to select the inductee(s) for that year. Inductees for 2014 are in the “Open” and “Non-Performing” categories.

The IBMA Awards Show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction), streamed live at ibma.org, and syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of Deering Banjos, John Pearse Strings, Compass Records, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, Yep Roc, BluegrassToday.com and Music City Roots. Program directors and station managers may sign up to be affiliates online at www.ibma.org. Cybergrass will carry the program on a delayed webcast as they have done for every year the Awards Show has been available for broadcast.

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