The Delmore Brothers Collection that is archived at Athens State University has once again outgrown its space. The collection opened in 2008 during that year’s Fiddlers Convention and has moved twice since then. The collection’s new home is in the basement of McCandless Hall, the newly renovated building which houses the Herman Griffin Theater.
“We started in University Archivist Sara Love’s office in Founders Hall and as the collection grew we knew we needed more room,” said Debby Delmore, daughter of Alton Delmore. “We moved to a space in the Carter Gymnasium but it was not handicapped accessible. Although we had hundreds of visitors from all over the world, many of our elderly fans could not manage the stairs to reach the collection. The new space in McCandless Hall has solved those issues for us.”
Debby Delmore believes it is her charge to promote, preserve, and reveal her family’s music to a new generation. She added, “My father always told me to listen to my thoughts, and I feel this is what I have been led to do.”
Elkmont natives Alton and Rabon Delmore were music pioneers and stars of the Grand Old Opry in the 1930s. Their first recording as The Delmore Brothers was on the Columbia label in 1931 and included the singles “I’ve Got the Kansas City Blues” and “Alabama Lullaby.” Over the course of their careers, the Delmores wrote more than one thousand songs. When Rabon Delmore died in 1952 Alton Delmore moved to Huntsville and left the music business. In 1989 The Delmore Brothers were inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and in 2001 they were similarly honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“McCandless Hall is in the heart of the campus and this new location will increase the traffic to see this wonderful collection,” states University Archivist Sara Love. “There is easy access to the space from the courtyard where many people gather during Fiddlers. Of course the extra room to display more artifacts is welcomed.”
There will be a ribbon cutting to officially open the new space on Thursday, October 1 at 11:00 a.m. and the public is invited. The Delmore Brothers Collection will be open during the upcoming Fiddlers Convention on October 2 and 3. It is open to the public throughout the year by appointment only. For information call 256-233-8296.