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Vote to help BCM win Virginia Association of Museums Grant

January 18, 2018

A rare transcription disc containing a live broadcast performance of The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys on the former WCYB Radio Farm and Fun Time show has been listed among the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) Top 10 Endangered Artifacts. Over time, the degradation of the fragile, lacquer disc recording has made it unplayable and its content unaccessible. A public vote will determine if the rare recording can be restored through grant funds from VAM, so the museum is asking for your help in securing enough votes to help them win $5,000 to preserve this valuable piece of American music history.

“We are so excited that this Farm and Fun Time radio transcription disc from our museum collection has been chosen as one of the Virginia Association of Museum’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts,” said Rene Rodgers, Head Curator of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “This object’s vulnerable condition means that its content is in real danger of being lost forever. This honor from the VAM gives us the chance to receive much-needed funds to save an important piece of American music and radio history. Even better, preserving it means that we will be able to make this recording accessible to others—it’s not every day that you get a chance to hear live Clinch Mountain Boys tracks that have likely not been heard in over 60 years!”

The fact that an original live recording of the Clinch Mountain Boys from Farm and Fun Time still exists is a rarity, because discs used to record radio broadcasts in the mid-20th century are highly unstable. Back then, these recordings were made on lacquer discs with an aluminum core. Over time, the lacquer flakes off and the disc can no longer be played with a stylus. The transcription disc was donated to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in early 2017 by local musician and WZAP Christian radio program director Glen Harlow.

VAM Grant
Thanks to a generous donation from the Blandford Rees Foundation, the VAM’s renowned program will for the first time be able to provide conservation awards totaling nearly $19,000 to the honorees, which will be granted by the Selection Committee or by outcome of an online public voting competition. The pubic is invited to help bestow $9,000 of these conservation awards by voting for their favorite endangered artifact. The two artifacts garnering the most votes will be recognized as the People’s Choice Awards and will receive $5,000 and $4,000 respectfully to conserve their artifacts and care for its continued preservation.

Public Voting
Ten unique artifacts from across the state and spanning Virginia’s extensive history from the 1700s to the 20th century were chosen following a thorough review process by an independent selection committee of collections professionals from partner organizations Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources. To view the entire list of artifacts and to vote in the People’s Choice Awards, please visit www.vatop10artifacts.org. Voting starts on January 15 and ends January 24, 2018 at midnight.