Rich-R-Tone Recordings in the Lewis Deneumoustier Collection

This exhibit focuses primarily on RICH-R-TONE recordings found in the Lewis Deneumoustier Collection in the Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University.

RICH-R-TONE recordings are regionally and historically significant in their relationship to the early beginnings of bluegrass recordings and the onset of a smaller "cottage recording industry" in Johnson City. These early pioneers of small record labels were noteworthy in their approach to recording and making available bluegrass records in the 1940s and 1950s. 

Regionally, RICH-R-TONE recordings give listeners insight into local and regional music from the early days of bluegrass. The performers who recorded were eager to record and the owner of RICH-R-TONE, Jim Stanton, provided an outlet for their ambitions.

Lewis Deneumoustier was an avid collector and fan of old-time, bluegrass, and country music. His collection spans over one hundred years of country and traditional music history and includes nearly 25,000 recordings along with photographs, posters, sheet music, magazines, and other memorabilia.


Curated by Ryan Bernard