Ira Gitlin

Writing Samples

Since 1990 I’ve written about bluegrass music in the pages of Bluegrass Unlimited, Banjo NewsLetter, and Bluegrass Now.

I was honored to be asked by the on-line magazine The Bluegrass Special to contribute my thoughts on the passing of Earl Scruggs. If you’re interested in my journey from Ph.D.-program dropout to bluegrass musician, check out Homer, Earl Scruggs, And Me , which I wrote for the Swarthmore College Bulletin in 2011. More recently, my paper from the 2017 Bluegrass Music Symposium, “Lonesome And Then Some: Unusual Vocal Harmonies In Early Bluegrass Recordings,” was reprinted in the fall 2018 issue of the Oregon Bluegrass Association’s newsletter, Bluegrass Express.

I’ve also contributed liner notes to several commercial recordings. I gave a talk on the history of bluegrass for the Smithsonian Associates’ “Roots of Rock and Roll” lecture series in 1998, and I wrote a chapter on the history of the banjo in bluegrass that was to appear in a volume published by Rounder Books before the project unfortunately was cancelled. Below are some other samples of my writing.

D'Addario Strings