Wilene “Sally Ann” Forrester, First Woman in Bluegrass

Wilene "Sally Ann" Forrester She was born, Wilene Russell, in 1922. Her family called her Goldie Sue. Her classmates called her Billie. She performed as Sally Ann Forrester. Was the confusion created by having too many names the reason why Wilene Forrester is slow to be recognized as the "First Woman in Bluegrass"? All humor aside, in 1943, Wilene was … Continue reading Wilene “Sally Ann” Forrester, First Woman in Bluegrass

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Helen Carter of Mother Maybelle and The Carter Sisters

Helen Carter   The Carter Family, among the original Americana performers, were the first to become well-known outside of their region. Though they were unassuming and humble people, they had an enormous impact on music both within, and outside of America and brought American Country and Roots music to the forefront. Helen Carter continued their … Continue reading Helen Carter of Mother Maybelle and The Carter Sisters

Remembering Art Van Damme, America’s Foremost Jazz Accordionist

Born in the tiny town of Norway, Michigan, Art Van Damme was not expected to become a serious American Jazz musician. Classically trained as a pianist and motivated to become a professional musician, Art was a performing musician by age nine in a local theatre in upper Michigan. His family moved to Chicago when he … Continue reading Remembering Art Van Damme, America’s Foremost Jazz Accordionist