Plans for Wyoming Country Western Bluegrass Hall of Fame Announced | News


Chugwater sign photo

A group in Chugwater has unveiled plans for a Country Western Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  The group is holding an organizational meeting and working on getting donors.  Here is their announcement:

 Initiated and managed by Country Western Bluegrass Music Association Inc, “CWB” a 501-3c tax exempt corporation. 

“Music Soothes The Savage Beast” is a centuries old phrase containing great truth. No other medium has comparable effect on emotions and attitude.

Therefore, any and all enhancing of interest in music is valuable to Wyoming, America and the World. Many talented Wyoming singers, musicians, cowboy poets, songwriters and promoters need to be recognized.

Most “Halls of Fame” and Museums only commemorate and celebrate past successes in whatever field is being represented. Consequently, much current talent is ignored and often overlooked until the person is deceased. This is a shame and discredit to the organization.

As a Country song would say, “Shower them With Flowers While They Live”. That doesn’t mean that the deceased should be ignored, only that current talent should also be recognized.

Many Halls of Fame only include the celebrities. Success is not a singular affair. Many people who had no desire to become famous themselves had great impact on those who did become famous or highly successful. Music teachers, friends, relatives and other band members offered encouragement and inspiration, Disc jockeys and karaoke has had major impact. Even music equipment stores have offered special deals to aspiring musicians. Many of these should possibly be included, or at least mentioned in the Hall of Fame.

Country Western Bluegrass music success would not be possible without the music fringe businesses. “Honky-tonks”, clubs, fairs, celebrations, churches and senior centers and retirement homes all offer the budding musicians opportunity for public experience and exposure. Booking agents, managers, recording studios and radio stations all are necessary for success. Some should be recognized individually and others at least acknowledged.

Success in music, as in most careers, is not wholly the efforts of one individual or group. It is a compilation of the efforts of many culminating in specific results.

Proposed Location: former Chugwater Elementary School. The school will make an ideal Hall of Fame and museum due to several rooms in which individual displays can be created, maintained and expanded upon in the future.

The auditorium will provide a venue for concerts, dances, reunions, and an additional variety of events which can aid in the financial support of the operations.

Attendance: All persons interested in Country, Western and Bluegrass music will find the Hall of Fame and Museum of interest. It will be a great attraction for tourists and a tour bus destination.

Initial Funding by Donors, Crowd Funding, Wyoming Arts Council, Wyoming Tourism, T-Mobil Grant, Hughes Charities, Wyoming Business Council, Fund Raising Concerts, etc.

Parking: Adjacent to museum.

Wyoming Hall of Fame and Museum Featured Contents: Representation of all bands, singers, musicians, cowboy poets, songwriters, clubs and other venues, recording studios, instrument manufacturers, booking agents, disc jockeys, broadcasters, and all others who have impacted development of CWB music in Wyoming will be featured.

Displays of musical recordings including vinyl records, tapes and CD’s, past and present, of Wyoming entertainers and related memorabilia will be featured.

Some members, such as Chris LeDoux are obvious. Requests for names of qualified members will be requested statewide along with information on what qualifies the proposed member for inclusion.

Short, or in some cases, extensive bios will be received.

Gift shop area will sell souvenirs of the Hall of Fame and Museum, and provide a sales outlet for CD’s and souvenirs from Wyoming entertainers.

Most entertainers and bands who are committed to their music have made CDs, cassettes and records. Many also have caps, shirts, photos and memorabilia for sale. Usually they only are able to sell them at their performances. This will give them an additional sales outlet and exposure, and potential commission income for the Museum and Hall of Fame.

Area for musical instruments donated and consigned for display. Country Western Bluegrass music has utilized about every musical instrument ever invented. Western Swing from the 1930s and 40s had horns of all varieties. Cowboy music invariably had accordions and harmonicas. Some of the original “hillbilly” music had homemade instruments such as bones and spoons. Many instruments common in the past are rarely seen today. Many instruments have already been committed by musicians and others for the museum. Viewing them will be a true musical education.

Area for musical equipment display such as microphones, amps, speakers, mixing boards, recording equipment and equalizers. This may not be as appealing to the general public but will be a great nostalgic trip down memory lane for the seasoned musicians. It will also give the young performers a vision of what has been and how the industry has progressed. There has been a great transition from analog to digital. What formerly required a 50 pound amp can now be accomplished with a 10 pound unit. Huge mixing boards have been replaced by laptop computers. Lessons in musical history!

Music Through The Years display: Sheet music, music box, cylinder records, cylinder record player, radios, 78 rpm record players, 78 rpm records, 78 rpm picture records, children’s 78 rpm records, Edison records, wire recorder, juke box, 45rpm records, 45 rpm big spindle record players, both 10” and 12’ LP records, LP picture discs, pocket transistor radios, reel to reel tape players, 8-track players and 8-track tapes, music cassette players, music cassettes, CD players and CD’s plus earphones, boom boxes, Walkmans and all other methods of enjoying music.

Recorded music has a Fantastic history which most of the public are not aware of. The majority of people under the age of 50 don’t even know what a 78 rpm record is. The progression of music from sheet music to modern digital and on-line is a fascinating trip with great impact on historical events and modern society.

Auditorium-Chugitorium. Few venues exist for youth to dance and even fewer for them to play music in public. The Chugitorium can provide these opportunities. It will also provide opportunity for other entertainment activities and financial income from such sources as concerts, dances, dance instruction, music instruction, craft shows, hobby shows, swap meets, musical instrument shows, conventions and musical contests (fiddle, banjo, guitar, song writer, etc.)..…Chugwater Jamboree?

The Wyoming Country Western Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum will provide not only entertainment and education, but also inspiration. Some visitors may be inspired to pursue a career singing, playing an instrument or song writing. Maybe even in the instrument or equipment field. Musical instruments are still being invented. The possibilities are endless!

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