Welcome! The Center holds over one million items related to American vernacular music traditions,
encompassing the full range of styles in popular music, folk and traditional music,
sacred music, and community band music. The materials are wide-ranging and include,
in part, early American sheet music, songsters, and broadsides; sound recordings in
all formats; published scholarly books and periodicals; unique archival collections;
multi-media digital collections; and databases that offer the latest marketing statistics.
The Center also strives to stimulate learning and the exchange of ideas through grant-supported
projects, conferences, classes, guest lectures, concerts, the Spring Fed record label, interviews,
discussion blogs, social media engagement, digitization activities, and staff research
projects. You can explore many of our digital collections, activities, and holdings
on this website. Free and open to everyone, the Center has a staff eager to help
you better understand our country's vast musical heritage.
Spring Brown Bag Dates
Food, Glorious Food
The Food, Glorious Food exhibit features items from our collection having to do with food branding and marketing
in American popular music and was put together by archvist, Rachel Morris.
Our Operation Song exhibit was put together by Library Assistant Olivia Beaudry. It was created for
an Operation Song event and honors our active servicemen and veterans. This exhibit
features items from our collection having to do with all branches of the military.
You can find out more about Operation Song, a Nashville, Tennessee based 501(c)(3) non-profit that empowers veterans and active
duty military members to tell their stories through songwriting by clicking the link
Center for Popular Music Annual Report
The CPM's 2015-2016 Annual Report is now available for your reading pleasure! This
report includes information about past events, note-worthy acquisitions, collections
statistics, and staff news. You can download it (or any of our previous annual reports)
by following the link here. You can also access them by clicking About CPM in the left side-bar and choosing Annual Reports.
The CPM has an action-packed calendar for the upcoming Fall semester, with speakers,
performers, and other exciting programs. Mark your calendars and stay tuned to our
website and social media pages for locations and other information. All events are
free of charge and open to the public!
September 14, 4:30 pm — Tracy Nelson
Blues-rock singer Tracy Nelson, who Entertainment Weekly called, “blues practitioner
of tremendous vocal power and emotional range,” will be on campus to sing some of
her magnificent catalog and talk about her amazing career. Tracy started her career
in Chicago in the 1960s, learning from Charlie Musselwhite, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’
Wolf, then became an important part of San Francisco’s psychedelic scene as the lead
singer of Mother Earth. Since then she’s worked with Willie Nelson, Marcia Ball, and
other icons of American roots music.
September 19, 12:40 pm — The Americans
Roots-rock band The Americans, featured in the new film American Epic (produced by
Jack White, T-Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford) will present a program exploring the
earliest period of roots music commercial recordings, from the 1920s and 1930s.
October 26, 4:30 pm — Peter Guralnick
Author Peter Guralnick, one of the most acclaimed music biographers and critics of
our time, will do a live interview with CPM Director Dr. Greg Reish about Guralnick’s
latest book, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll. Guralinck is also the author of award-winning books about Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke,
Robert Johnson, and other American roots-music topics.
November 14, 7:00 pm — Charlie McCoy
A pillar of the Nashville Sound and one of the most versatile session musicians in
popular music history, Charlie McCoy will speak about his extraordinary career and
perform a concert backed by a group of Nashville pros. This program will be hosted
by Dr. Travis Stimeling of West Virginia University, who is one of the world’s leading
authorities on Nashville’s classic era of recording.
November 18, 11:00 am — Shelly Peiken
This number 1 hit pop songwriter will talk about her new book, Confessions of a Serial
Songwriter, with the coordinator of MTSU’s commercial songwriting program, Prof. Odie
CPM in the News
The Center's newest Grammy grant to digitize our collection of bluegrass audio recordings
from Marvin Hedrick has been getting a lot of buzz! We're so glad that everyone is
as excited about this project as we are. Please check out some of the latest articles
and interviews regarding the collection and the grant project below.
The project is underway now, and we'll continue to update you as it progresses! Thank
you for your support.
$19K Grammy grant will help MTSU digitize new bluegrass collection
April 7, 2016 by
MTSU’s Center for Popular Music is the recipient of another national grant from the
Grammy Foundation, this time to digitize an extensive, “historically and culturally
significant” live bluegrass audio collection from Indiana music lover Marvin Hedrick.
This rare 45 rpm single by “The Weedpatch Boys,” released in 1963, is part of a large
“historically and culturally significant” bluegrass audio collection recently donated
to MTSU’s Center for Popular Music by the family of Indiana music lover Marvin Hedrick.
Hedrick was a member of the band, as were his two sons. The center received a $19,537
grant from the Grammy Foundation April 6 to preserve and digitize the collection.
The $19,537 grant will make the center an even greater research resource for MTSU
students and faculty as well as scholars from across the world, director Greg Reish
“Mr. Hedrick was, among other things, a fixture at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival,”
Reish explained. “He lived in Brown County, where the festival’s held, and befriended
Bill Monroe and all the other pioneers of bluegrass. He also was very helpful to younger
folklorists who took a serious interest in bluegrass.” Continue reading
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The Center for Popular Music is rolling out a monthly newsletter in April. This newsletter
will keep you up-to-date with everything happening at the Center, including new events,
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