THE EARLY DAYS OF BLUEGRASS was originally a series of ten albums compiled and released by Rounder Records beginning in 1975.  The albums were produced by the founders of Rounder Records – Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin.

This is truly music from another time, music largely from the southeastern United States created as America experienced rapid social change in the aftermath of World War II.  The 153 songs, almost all originally released on 45 and 78 rpm singles, evoke rawness, excitement, nostalgia, wistfulness, reverence for gospel, and exuberance.  Click here for list of song titles and artists.

There are dozens of artists represented, including full albums by Jim Eanes, the Bailey Brothers, the Saucemen Brothers, Bill Clifton, the Church Brothers and Connie and Babe.  Most of the musical selections were made by Dick Spottswood, who originated bluegrass programming on WAMU-FM and whose weekly show continues on Bluegrass Country radio.

These ten albums have now been released on a newly remastered, six-CD boxed set, with extensive liner notes.  Net proceeds from the sale of these CDs will go to the Bluegrass Country Foundation, to continue to provide programming for Bluegrass Country radio.

There’s also an accompanying 200-page book by Bill Nowlin, rich in detail about the musicians and the recordings, with many never-before published photos.

“You need this set.” Gary Reid, Bluegrass Unlimited
“Anyone with an interest in the history of bluegrass music will want both the box set and the book in their personal library.”  John Lawlesss, Bluegrass Today

You can purchase the CDs and book directly from Bluegrass Country using PayPal.  The CD set is $60 and the book is $15, or you can get both for $70, plus 6% tax and $5 shipping charge for each order.  Just click the button below to order.


If you’ve ordered the CDs and book and are wondering when you’ll get them, please be patient.  Our initial supply of books is in a building that was locked down in the COVID-19 response.  More books are on the way, and we’ll be filling the orders soon.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

We’re also offering The Early Days of Bluegrass as our gift for your new sustaining membership donation of $15 a month, or a one-time donation of $180.  For a $20 a month or $240 one-time donation, you can get the CDs and the book.

Just click the DONATE button at the top of this page and you’ll be linked to our secure donation site, where you can select the amount and frequency of your donation.  For a sustaining membership, make sure you select “Monthly” in the Donation Frequency box.  Once your transaction is complete, you’ll receive an acknowledgement e-mail and tax receipt for your contribution.  You can also call us at 202-844-6670 if you prefer to set up your sustaining membership by phone.

It’s our way of saying thanks to you for your loyal support.