Wiped out by the Great Depression, Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman, a pioneer of Appalachian music, moves his large family to the Washington area in search of work. The Stoneman family would go on to dominate the D.C. honky-tonk circuit in the decades following WWII.
Connie B. Gay hosts an afternoon country music show on WARL in Arlington, Virginia, launching his career as a promoter who helped transform country music into a nationwide phenomenon.Learn more on Boundary Stones →
Patsy Cline wins the $100 prize as best female vocalist in a talent contest sponsored by D.C.-based country music promoter Connie B. Gay in Warrenton, VA. Soon after she lands a regular spot on WARL in Arlington — performing jingles and singing on Gay's "Town and Country Time" radio program.Learn more on Boundary Stones →
When members of the Bayou Boys were injured in a car crash, Charlie Waller and Bill Emerson put together a group to fulfill the band's regular spot at a Virginia venue. That replacement band evolved into The County Gentlemen, perhaps the most significant bluegrass band to come out of the D.C. area.
Gary Oelze purchases a Shirlington restaurant called the Birchmere in the mid 1960s. At the time, he wasn't planning to get into the music business. But soon, the Birchmere becomes a hub for bluegrass music in the nation's capital. Today, it is an internationally renowned music hall that draws fans of every musical genre.Learn more on Boundary Stones →
A new half-hour program named “Bluegrass Unlimited,” premieres on local public radio station WAMU. The extensive bluegrass programming on WAMU, as well as several nationally known groups such as The Seldom Scene, helped make Washington, D.C., an unlikely epicenter for bluegrass music.
Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash perform a legendary — and politically controversial — concert at the White House for President Richard M. Nixon.Learn more on Boundary Stones →
John Denver performs "Take Me Home, Country Roads" for the first time at the Cellar Door in Georgetown. The song was co-written by Denver and local musicians Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, who based the lyric on Clopper Road in Montgomery County, Maryland (not West Virginia).Learn more on Boundary Stones →
A group of volunteers led by local bluegrass musician E.J. Spence launches the Lucketts Bluegrass concert series in the Old Lucketts School, which had closed several years earlier. Today the Lucketts Schoolhouse stage has a special place in bluegrass lore and has been called the “Grand Old Opry of Bluegrass."
Dr. Cleveland Francis, an African American cardiologist from Alexandria, Virginia, who left his practice to pursue a country music career, releases "Tourist in Paradise" on Capitol Nashville. Though Francis returned to medicine a few years later, he still performs his music locally.