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Raymond W. McLain

Raymond McLainDirector, Kentucky Center for Traditional Music 

Contact Info:
185 East First Street Morehead KY
Phone: 606-783-9001 
Office Hours: By appointment

“At the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, music is a living tradition. We provide an atmosphere of creativity in order to encourage young artists to carry our heritage on to the next generation. Though the focus of our program is Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music, we also provide mentoring and important life and business skills to help young people live successful lives as artists. This professional development comes through first-hand experience and interaction with the music community locally, regionally and ultimately around the world.

Whether your dream is a full-time career in music, or music is your serious interest, I hope you will consider all The Kentucky Center for Traditional Music has to offer. Until recent years, the study of Appalachian music has been included in curriculum as a peripheral musical style to be learned in the scope of classical rubric. In fact, the first courses in Bluegrass and Appalachian music at a school of higher education were taught as recently as 1971. Now at Morehead State University, you can earn the first Bachelor of Arts in Traditional Music Studies meeting National Association of Schools of Music accreditation requirements, a Minor in Traditional Music Studies – or you may choose to take our classes as electives.

For us, Traditional Music is: Bluegrass, Old Time, Country, Western Swing, Blues, Ballad Singing, Celtic, and all the music styles commonly identified with our southern mountain region. Music is the heartbeat of our culture and the lifeblood of our community. We strive to preserve, develop and celebrate our culture!” - Raymond McLain, director


Since 1968, Raymond McLain has performed traditional and contemporary Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music and original music in concert halls, theaters, universities, and at music festivals in all fifty of the United States and internationally in 67 countries from stages such as Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Finlandia Hall and The Grand Ole Opry. 

He has recorded extensively, both as a solo artist and as a guest on recordings by numerous artists including Grand Ole Opry members Jim & Jesse, The Jordanaires, Janette and Joe Carter and Don Reno. 

Raymond, with The McLain Family Band, toured extensively as soloist in over 230 appearances with orchestras, with leading pops conductors such as Erich Kunzel, Mitch Miller, Newton Wayland and Richard Hayman. These orchestras include those of Cleveland, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Louisville, Oakland and Phoenix as well as the National Symphony, the Houston Pops and the Calgary and Buffalo Philharmonics. 

His performances on television include NBC – The Today Show, CBS – The Morning News, CMA Country Music Awards Show, The Johnny Cash Christmas Special, Hee Haw, ABC – Good Morning America, TNN – Crook & Chase, Music City Tonight, Nashville Now, The Grand Ole Opry Live, On Stage, Miscellaneous Appearances on the BBC, the CBC and various ETV specials including the PBS special, Pearl Bailey and Friends at Centre Stage and Jubilee, an internationally distributed production of producer, Russ Farmer and Kentucky Educational Television. He continues to tour and record with Canadian harmonica virtuoso, Mike Stevens and The McLain Family Band.