The Virginia Dulcimer:200 Years of Bowing, Strumming, & Picking


Crooked Road Royalty & Musical Styles

Southwest Virginians have an ear for music, and Crooked Road Royalty & Musical Styles showcases the long history of picking and singing in the mountains. The exhibition first highlights the careers of the Hill Billies, the Stoneman Family, the Carter Family, and the Stanley Brothers, four Virginia powerhouse groups that helped build the American country music industry.  Visitors can then explore the rich variety of roots music western Virginians sing and play—fiddle-and-banjo tunes, bluegrass, ballads of love and death, sentimental mountain songs, blues, and gospel.  The exhibition includes rare film footage and photographs of historic Crooked Road musicians. 

“The story of American country music is filled with singers and pickers from the Crooked Road region,” says Andrew Pauly, exhibit researcher.  “Even today’s young country music stars know songs that were first recorded by the early Southwest Virginia artists.”      

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