Roger Bellow Photos | Digital Traditions

Roger Bellow is a scholar, teacher and award-winning performer who has been a lifelong proponent of early country music traditions. He first learned about country music in Uptown, an area of Chicago populated by Southern migrants.

He attended the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1959 and later taught there. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Bellow performed and recorded with the finest artists in country music, nationally and internationally.

He has written numerous articles on bluegrass and country music and conducted instrumental workshops at the University of Chicago Folk Festival and the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis & Elkins College. He also has performed with the Drifting Troubadors at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival, the University of Chicago Folk Festival and on board the German ocean liner Europa.

He currently hosts Vintage Country on public radio WSCI-FM in Charleston, and produces and performs on the Lowcountry Jamboree, a weekly live music program on WBHH-FM in Beaufort, S.C. At his own expense he has traveled the State finding, interviewing and recording the many old country music masters who live in South Carolina.

To honor these musicians and introduce them to a wider audience, Bellow makes a habit of inviting them to perform with him on concert programs. This cultural tradition is thriving in South Carolina, in large part, because of his tireless efforts to uncover the history, and promote the appreciation and playing of early country music. Bellow received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 1995.