Museum exhibit highlights Academy of Local Musicians

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Submitted Article

In 2014 singer-songwriter Donnie Reed had “a dream of doing something for local musicians” to recognize their accomplishments and talents.

That dream became the Academy of Local Musicians Awards. First given in 2015 to artists in Clark County, the ALM Awards have since grown to include chapters all over the country and in Canada. They have been rated one of the top four music awards in the country, according to Mr. Reed.

Email newsletter signup

A new exhibit at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum spotlights ALM recipients. There will be a grand opening and reception at the Museum Thursday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. Several musicians are expected to attend, and the public is welcome.

Reed currently serves as the CEO of the organization he founded, and he developed the exhibit. Fellow musician Dewey Pope serves as President.

The ALMs honor artists in all genres, including rock, country, jazz, and blues. There are four awards categories, though not all are given yearly. They are Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement, Musician of the Year, and Horizon Award (for newcomers).

Dozens of musicians from Winchester and Kentucky have received the ALMs over the years. The first recipient in 2015 was Roy Burns, who played with The Classics and other groups. Others include Paul Martin, J. P. Pennington, Doug Breeding, Johnny Lyman, Frank and Bill Kennon, Jennifer Webb, and many others.

Artists honored from around the country include Rhonda Vincent, T. Graham Brown, Bill Anderson, Ronnie McDowell, Jr., Margie Singleton, Jimmy Fortune, and Joe Rucker, to name but a few.

The ALMs honor not only the artists but also people behind the scenes, like songwriters, DJs, agents, etc.

For example, one such recipient is David Snowden, who started his career as a DJ. When Donnie Reed was 14, he and some friends formed a band, The Illusions, and approached Snowden for help. Snowden became their manager and eventually quit his DJ job and formed Snowden Productions, one of the biggest booking agents in the country.

The exhibit is on the museum’s third floor, located at 217 South Main Street in Winchester. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. on the 20th, and refreshments will be served.