Interview with Donna Stoneman, August 2, 2005

Project: Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Donna Stoneman played mandolin in the Stoneman Family band. In this interview, she discusses her family's musical abilities, learning to play mandolin, and her early influences. She talks about the origins of the band The Bluegrass Champs. She talks about winning contests and being on the television show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. Stoneman talks about answering fan mail on their television show and giving autographs. She talks about later in her life using her fame to give fans "Jesus letters" to evangelize to them. Stoneman tells the story of how she came to religion after a period of contemplating suicide. She talks about quitting the Stoneman Family band to begin her gospel career. She talks about dancing and doing tricks on stage with her mandolin. Stoneman plays several songs on the mandolin, including "On the Double Eagle" and "Girl From Galax" among others. She demonstrates several of her tricks. She talks about her experience of playing mandolin for Bill Monroe while he was in a nursing home after his stroke.

Interview Accession

2018oh275_ibmm069

Interviewee Name

Donna Stoneman

Interviewer Name

Ellen Wright

Interview Date

2005-08-02

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Stoneman, Donna Interview by Ellen Wright. 02 Aug. 2005. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Stoneman, D. (2005, August 02). Interview by E. Wright. Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Stoneman, Donna, interview by Ellen Wright. August 02, 2005, Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7v9s1km58g