In recognition of her more than thirty-year career, writer-photographer Stephanie P. Ledgin will receive the 2007 Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism at the upcoming 24th Annual International Country Music Conference in Nashville. Presentation of the award, given in cooperation with Mr. Gary and Ms. Peggy Walker of The Great Escape, will be made Friday, May 25, at Belmont University, a co-sponsor of the event. The prestigious award is named for Music City’s entertainment industry pioneer who, among numerous innovations, founded two key early country music publications, The Music Reporter and The Sound Format.
Since 1975 when hired as an editor of the seminal bluegrass magazine Pickin, Ledgin has focused primarily on bluegrass and folk music, her work circling the globe in magazines, books, recordings and museums. She is the author of two books, the first of which, Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass (Praeger, cloth; University of Illinois Press, paper), brought her honors as the 2005 International Bluegrass Music Print Media Person of the Year.Her second, From Every Stage: Images of America’s Roots Music (University Press of Mississippi), continues to make the rounds with selections from it in a traveling photo exhibition which debuted at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, was then expanded and continued at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and which will open in June for a year-long run at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.
In addition to serving as director of the New Jersey Folk Festival at Rutgers University for ten years (1994-2003), Ledgin was one of the original hosts of CityFolk on New York Public Radio s WFUV 90.7 FM. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association, is a founding member of the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance and is a member of the European Bluegrass Music Association. Ledgin is developing a special interview series for electronic broadcast while she continues to work on her next book, Discovering Folk Music (Praeger), anticipated for release in 2008.
Previous Lamb Award honorees for their lengthy careers have been Jack Hurst, Ed Morris, Chrissie Dickinson, Bob Howe of Australia, Tony Russell of the U.K. and Chet Flippo. A second award is given annually to a younger, contemporary country music journalist.
Country music, according to the Charlie Lamb criteria, is broadly defined to include journalism about styles ranging from Old Time Country, Cajun, Cowboy, Western Swing, and the Nashville Sound to Bluegrass, Honky Tonk, Classic Country, Country Rock, New Traditionalist, Hot New Country, Americana, and Alternative Country.