Oral History Information
Harry Bickel has been passionate about the folk songs and bluegrass music of Kentucky since he was a kid. While in college, he took banjo lessons from J.D. Crowe and learned how to repair banjos from Tom Haile, at Shackleton’s music store. When he purchased his home (The Bluegrass Hotel) in 1975, he and his friend, Harry Sparks, quickly combined their instrument shops in the basement. Surrounded by incredible musicians, they built and repaired instruments for years and formed their own band, the Buzzard Rock String Band. Harry and his wife, Ann, still live in the Bluegrass Hotel and the house continues to be known for its famous “pickin’ parties.” As always, the doors to the Bluegrass Hotel are open to the music and the musicians who play it.