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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.


This collection includes 1,023 long-playing vinyl records and 1,368 compact discs donated by Texas native James H. Montgomery that were collected over his lifetime. The track listings on the majority of the LP and CD cases have hand-written ranking notations by Montgomery represented by a single dot, two dots, or a circled set of dots.

Montgomery’s collection focuses on old-time bluegrass, Southern folk, gospel, and country music, especially modern reissues of recordings from the 1920s through the 1960s. There are also banjo, fiddle, and acoustic guitar recordings by newer artists. The collection also has some Cajun, jazz, and ethnic LPs and CDs.

Examples of artists well-represented in the collection:  Roy Acuff, Blue Sky Boys, Carter Family, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, David Grisman, John Hartford, Uncle Dave Macon, J.E. Mainer and His Mountaineers, Bill Monroe, The New Lost City Ramblers, Mark O’Connor, Don Reno and Red Smiley, Stanley Brothers, Ernest V. Stoneman, Doc and Merle Watson, and Mac Wiseman.

Examples of record companies well-represented in the collection:  Arhoolie Records, Bear Family Records, British Archive of Country Music, Columbia Records, County Records, Document Records, Field Recorders’ Collective, Folkways Records, Heritage Records, JSP Records, June Appal Records, Old Homestead Records, Proper Records, RCA Records, Rebel Records, Rounder Records, Rural Rhythm Records, Smithsonian/Folkways Records, Starday/Gusto Records, and Sugar Hill Records