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Bluegrass Ambassadors: The McLain Family Band in Appalachia and the World by Paul O. Jenkins

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The McLain Family Band was formed in 1968 by Raymond K. McLain, then the Director of the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky. At the time, his son, Raymond W. was 15; daughter, Alice, was twelve and Ruth was ten. The father played the guitar, the son played the banjo; Alice played the mandolin, and Ruth play the bass. Two years later, he joined the faculty of Berea College, and the family moved to Berea, Kentucky. In 1977, Alice married the formidable musician, Al White, who became the most constant addition to the family band from then on, more so than Michael or Nancy, the younger children of Raymond and Betty McClain. Betty served as the manager of the group. In 1989 the group ceased to actively tour as Raymond was in his sixties and his children were raising their own families. For twenty years, the group was active, touring in over 70 countries and throughout the United States, and appearing with symphony orchestras more than 200 times! “The McLain Family Band has been a torchbearer for the music of America’s front porch. This is a story of a musical legacy, of passion and talent, of kind- ness and art wrapped in the magic of a family bond.” -- Michael Johnathon. “An excellent effort brimming with infectious joy.”​​​​​​​ --Library Journal. The author, Paul O. Jenkins, is the University Librarian at Franklin Pierce University.

Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2020. 249 pages with an Index, Bibliography, Notes, Discography, Chronology, Appendices, Family Tree, and photos. Trade paperback.