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The McLain Family Band Honored with 2016 Lifetime Achievement LEXI Award

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McLain Family BandThe Lexington Music Awards seek to honor the present and past glory of Lexington's entire music industry. With 31 categories spanning the music industry including best female vocal artist, best male vocal artist, Song of the Year, best music venue, and best educator, this is truly a comprehensive awards program. The McLain Family Band was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Also included are J.D. Crowe, Ricky Skaggs, Vince DiMartino, and J.P. Pennington. The awards took place Sunday, January 31st.

Direct from the hills of Kentucky, The McLain Family Band has become internationally known as one of the most spontaneous, creative and spirited groups performing contemporary Appalachian bluegrass music. During the years 1968 – 1990, they performed in all 50 states and 62 countries during 14 international concert tours, some as musical ambassadors of the U.S. Department of State. The McLain Family Band played at the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center and the Carter Fold. They were featured at thousands of festivals and concerts and performed as soloists in more than 230 appearances with orchestras.

Raymond K. McLain formed the McLain Family Band in 1968 with his son Raymond W. and daughters Ruth and Alice. Mr. McLain was a Carter Family Memorial Music Center board member from the day the center was created. Raymond W. now serves on the Music Center’s board of directors and assists as Artistic Director at the Fold. Raymond K. McLain served for many years as Executive Director of Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky. He studied folk music at Harvard and later at the University of North Carolina, then went on to develop and teach the first college courses in bluegrass and in Appalachian Music at Berea College in 1971. His mother, Beatrice “Bicky” McLain, was also a significant figure in American folk music, founding the Southern Regional Folk Life Center at the University of Alabama and serving as its’ first director. Raymond died in 2003.

For eleven years, The McLain Family Band hosted The McLain Family Band Festival which was featured on NPR’s Folk Festival USA and produced by Kentucky Educational TV for national distribution. Other television appearances include NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, the Pearl Bailey ETV Special, the BBC, TNN’s Nashville Now and the Johnny Cash Christmas Special.

Affectionately dubbed the LEXIs by the local music community, these awards have reached their second annual presentation in 2016. The LEXIs have a one-of-a-kind nomination and awards process. The public submits nominations through an online ballot during a designated period of time. "The public" consists of music fans, industry professionals, and community members. Once the online voting ends, nominations are counted and the top 3-4 nominees for each category are contacted. They are then asked to help "peer review" the nominations and choose a recipient of that year's award amongst themselves. Popular vote meets industry peer review for every single award. It's the best of both worlds!

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