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James H. Montgomery Music Collection, 1911-2014

The James H. Montgomery Music Collection contains 1,023 LPs and 1,368 CDs. The collection focuses on old-time bluegrass, Southern folk, gospel, and country music. It features Mr. Montgomery's annotations and ranking system.


James Houston Montgomery (1930-2014) of Austin, Texas, fell in love with bluegrass music at the age of nine. While healing from polio, he discovered bluegrass music on the radio, and it became a life-long obsession. While Montgomery worked as a librarian at Vanderbilt University, the Universtiy of California--Irvine, the University of Georgia, Rutgers University, the University of Florida, and the University of Houston, he collected over 2,000 bluegrass and country LPs and CDs and kept meticulous notes on each album and song. Though he was never able to visit Mars Hill University, he knew of Bascom Lamar Lunsford's connection with the school and donated $500,000 to Mars Hill for a Regional Studies scholarship in Lunsford's honor. He also donated his personal LP and CD collection to the school after his passing in late 2014.