The 28th annual International Country Music Conference was a rousing success. Highlights, as usual, were hard to pick from, but here are a few:
- The Friday evening "Studio B" session featured three legendary record engineers: Glenn Snoddy, who worked at WSM when Hank Williams did his "Health and Happiness" shows; Tom Pick, who worked for people as diverse as Jerry Reed and Donna Fargo; and Ron "Snake" Reynolds, engineer for many legendary songs (including that one by George Jones about putting a wreath upon his door that everyone loved except George).
|L-R: Ron "Snake" Reynolds, Tom Pick, moderator John Rumble,|
and Glenn Snoddy discussing the role of the engineer during
the Friday evening panel at legendary Studio B.
- Barry Mazor showing clips of the Ganaway country music shows from the 1950s, the Ozark Jubilee and Town Hall Party. The few moments of Jim Reeves singing "Four Walls" with sparse accompaniment on Ozark Jubilee was worth the price of admission alone.
- The Belmont "Lifetime Achievement" Award went to Hall of Famer Ralph Emery for his contributions to the world of publications through both his own books as well as allowing scholars access to his treasure trove of recorded radio shows.
- Hall of Famer Frances Preston and should-be (one day, no doubt, will be) Hall of Famer Jim Ed Brown were on hand to present the Charlie Lamb Awards for journalism. Tennessean country music writer Peter Cooper was given the contemporary award, while Hank Williams biographer (among so many other books) Colin Escott was presented with the lifetime achievement award.
- Alton Delmore's daughter Debby attended to hear first-time presenter Dr. Gregory Reish illustrate the complex guitar techniques of the early Delmore Brothers recordings.
- The family of Starday co-founder Don Pierce were also on hand, this time for picking coordinator Nate Gibson's talk on Starday artist Glenn Barber and the rockabilly records released by country artists on Starday. (Gibson also wrote a superb look at Starday Records with Pierce.)
The food was good, the presentations were excellent, and the picking was superb.
As of this writing there's only 360 days left until ICMC 2012!