Ted Olson – A professor of Appalachian Studies and Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies at East Tennessee State University, Ted has been committed to the preservation, understanding, and interpretation of the history of Appalachia for 50 years and counting. Ted is the author of Blue Ridge Folklife, a study of Blue Ridge culture, and is a Grammy Award-nominated music historian. Ted is the editor of the music section for The Encyclopedia of Appalachia, and he has produced many documentary albums of Appalachian music, including compilations of recordings from the 1927-1928 Bristol Sessions, the 1928-1929 Johnson City Sessions, and the 1929-1930 Knoxville Sessions. Ted authored “Doc’s World: Traditional Plus,” the book that accompanies the 4 CD compilation of recordings from Doc’s career by Craft Records called “Doc Watson, Life’s Work: A Retrospective.” The book garnered Olson the 2022 International Bluegrass Music Association Industry Award for Best Liner Notes, and a Special Recognition from the ASCAP Foundation Paul Williams “Loved the Liner Notes” Award. Ted was nominated for two 2023 Grammy Awards for the book including Best Album Notes and Best Historical Recording (with Scott Billington & Mason Williams, compilation producers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer).
T. Michael Coleman – T. Michael Coleman is a guitarist, bassist, and singer-songwriter. He performed and toured for many years as bassist for Doc, often with Merle Watson at his other side. In 2020, he began to record some of his favorite Doc Watson songs as a way to cope with the pandemic and received so much positive feedback when he started sharing them on Facebook, he decided to record a complete album. The result was “Sittin’ in the Middle,” a recording of 16 song favorites based on his experiences performing with Doc and Merle.
Jack Lawrence – Jack Lawrence is a guitarist and singer who performed for many years alongside Doc and often with T. Michael Coleman on bass. Jack has played and recorded with many other admired artists including Sam Bush, Del McCoury, and Jerry Douglas. His 2013 recording, “Arthel’s Guitar,” is a tribute to the bluegrass, country, and folk artists who inspired him to play. Jack used the iconic Martin guitar that was gifted to him by Doc to make the record, hence the title, “Arthel’s Guitar.”
Photo credit: Katie Jamieson.
Wayne Henderson – Wayne is renowned not only for his guitar playing, but his ability to make guitars and other instruments that are highly prized by musicians around the world. As a performer, Wayne has entertained audiences at Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and on the Prairie Home Companion radio show with Garrison Keillor. He also performed on the international Masters of the Steel Guitar tours. The Wayne Henderson Guitar Contest and Music Festival began in his honor in 1995 and the Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian arts was opened in Wayne’s honor in 2015. In 1995, Wayne was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Photo credit: CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com
Jack Hinshelwood – The former Director of The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, Jack has taught, performed, produced and recorded the heritage music of the Appalachian region for over 40 years. Jack is a guitarist, fiddler, singer and winner of the Knoxville World’s Fair Guitar Championship, the Wayne Henderson Guitar Championship, and a two-time winner of the Galax Fiddler’s Convention guitar contest. Jack recently produced 50 Years in the Making, a 21-track recording and concert of old time, blues, and bluegrass music with some of America’s finest artists from those genres.
Photo credit: Richard Hinde