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ICMC 2014 Experience to Feature WLS Barn Dance Rare Photos

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The Prairie Ramblers and Patsy Montana Courtesy of Michael MontanaThe International Country Music Conference (ICMC) has announced another ‘reveal’ that will add to your ICMC 2014 experience. It will be a fascinating session indeed when Erika Brady and Nolan Porterfield present a remarkable discovery of WLS National Barn Dance touring package show photographs from 1937-1940 that include Gene Autry and many other significant performers.

“Stars of the 1937-1940 WLS Barn Dance: Rare Photographs Taken at the Mahnomen, Minnesota, County Fairs” will indicate that ‘Mrs. Irene Mary Johnson used her Kodak camera to take pictures of stars of the WLS National Barn Dance who toured throughout the Midwest and were then appearing at the Mahnomen, Minnesota, County Fair in Mahnomen, county seat and home of Mrs. Johnson. Once developed, these pictures were assembled into an album, with each performer identified.

These performers included such now-famous names as Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman, Patsy Montana, Red Foley, George Gobel, Pat Buttram, Jenny Lou Carson, and Gene Autry.’ It appears that this tour segment by WLS has not been previously documented. Brady, of Western Kentucky University and Porterfield, now retired from Southeast Missouri State University, have long, distinguished careers in country music scholarship and participation in ICMC. The “Stars of the 1937-1940 Barn Dance...” presentation will be one more example of their fine scholarship.

Pickers don’t forget that there will be informal picking Thursday evening prior to the keynote event and Friday evening at Studio B prior to the special soon to be announced presentation. It would also be great if pickers want to start their collaboration prior to the Thursday noon luncheon. And…..if things work out as desired there may be a special opportunity to do some additional picking as a pre conference event Wednesday evening 21 May at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt. Please contact Nate Gibson (, Greg Reish (, or Karen Raizor ( for additional information.

The Holiday Inn Vanderbilt will be again the official ICMC hotel of choice. The $115 single-quad rate is minimally $50 below the current rates available! Plesae call for reservations at 877.327.4707 and identify that you are with the International Country Music Conference. All reservations should be made by Sunday 20 April 2014 after which availability and the rate cannot be guaranteed. There may be some special new ICMC feature that takes place Wednesday evening, 21 May 2014 at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt.

The ICMC web site ( has been updated to reflect ICMC 2013 events with a variety of photos and awards information a well as ICMC 2014 due dates for registration. ICMC 2014 will have to revert to The Board Room of The Massey Center where ICMC was housed in previous years. Co Chair Don Cusic was not pleased by the bureaucratic bungle that made the Frist Lecture Hall unavailable. We look forward to ICMC 2015 being housed once again in The Frist Lecture Hall.

Keep in mind that Don Cusic wants to be receiving your well crafted manuscripts for ICMJ. While ICMJ is a formal function of ICMC, manuscripts do not have to be presented at ICMC for consideration. If you have questions please contact Don Cusic. The first ICMJ is published and available from You’ll not only enjoy the articles, but the Year In Country Music is a special feature that will be a valuable resource in your country music work over the years.

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