Saturday, July 09, 2016

Another Major Death

Category: News

Amid all of the country, bluegrass, Americana, and rock musicians we've lost this year, the sad news comes out of Washington DC that another legend is on life support and about to die.

This time, it's not a "who," it's a "what."  

WAMU, the longtime bluegrass and country radio station at American University in Washington DC, has announced that its "Bluegrass Country" streaming will either be sold this year or, if no buyer is found, will cease operations at the end of 2016.  The reason is what you might expect: it's not making money.

In its heyday WAMU was one of the premiere radio stations in the entire country for bluegrass music.  Before he moved to Nashville, Eddie Stubbs ran his country music education courses over the airwaves of WAMU (and even after he moved to Nashville he still taped radio programs for the station to broadcast).  

And, of course, that speaks of the rich bluegrass history in the DC area: the Johnson Mountain Boys, the Stonemans, and the Seldom Scene originated near the nation's capital (in addition to country acts like Jimmy Dean, Roy Clark, and Patsy Cline having deep roots there).

But that's all gone now, eaten by the systematic destruction of the term "country music" and the omnipresent need for money and ratings -- even at a public radio station.

Here's Rhonda Vincent & the Rage at WAMU's Bluegrass Country, an indication of what we're all losing: 

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