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International Country Music Conference Held at Belmont

Authors and journalists at the conference, left to right, are James Akenson, Si Kahn, Sue Massek and co-host Don Cusic.

Authors and journalists at the conference, left to right, are James Akenson, Si Kahn, Sue Massek and co-host Don Cusic.

The 31st Annual International Country Music Conference was held at Belmont University on May 22 through 24. Hosted by Belmont Professor of Music Business Don Cusic and Tennessee Technological University Professor  James Akenson, the conference featured a special panel on the late CMT Editorial Directort Chet Flippo.

The conference also included a special one woman show by Sue Masset, “Precious Memories,” about labor activist Sarah Ogan Gunning. The show was written by singer-songwriter and social justice activist Si Kahn. Kahn also presented the keynote speech during the conference. There also were sessions from country music scholars covering topics including the Bluebird Café, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Gram Parsons, Barbara Mandrell, Marty Robbins and the Beatles and Country Music. Scholars from Norway, Japan and Canada as well as those from California, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Arkansas, Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, New York, South Dakota, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee attended.