Our Story

For years, The Country Music Highway stars have had to leave the area to practice their art and learn about the technical and production side of the industry. These great stars, from Loretta Lynn to Chris Stapleton, have recorded songs that have told the story of the culture and history of Eastern Kentucky. Their success has been so great that U.S. 23 has been named “The Country Music Highway.”

Now a new non-profit, CMH23, has been developed to help promote the stars of the future while educating individuals about the process of recording!

The goal is to have a one-stopshop highlighting the rich history and the brilliant future of the Highway’s music and culture that extends from the Ohio boarder to the Virginia border. CMH23 promotes programming that fuels education about, and records, our heritage and culture. With the help of CMH23, our stars and future stars will have a platform to tell the world the story of The Country Music Highway and more importantly, these stars will be exposed to Nashville, America, and the world right here at home on The Country Music Highway!

 

Currently, Eastern Kentucky gets about five percent of the state’s total tourism dollars. Our goal is to improve that number by using education , our stars of the highway, as well as our future stars to tell the amazing story of Appalachia, Eastern Kentucky, and The Country Music Highway.

Partnership with TCN

CMH23, the television series, is currently on five cable systems reaching 50,000 homes. The partnership with The Country Network (TCN) provides a new stage of 20 million households across America. Locally produced shows air on a regional and national level, and thanks to our website, CMH23.com, the shows reach worldwide.

The Launch Pad for Upcoming Stars

The Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, KY has been a great stage for live shows, and now will become the launching pad for tomorrow’s stars. 

A state of the art studio for television and radio will be built, broadcasting 24/7 from the center point of the Country Music Highway.

Mountain Arts Center

The MAC is located within a stone’s throw of US 23 Country Music Highway which is certainly appropriate. Our state-of-the-art venue plays host to national headlining acts from a wide range of musical genre – bluegrass, gospel, rock and of course country – including many of Eastern Kentucky’s favorite sons and daughters such as Loretta Lynn, Billy Ray Cyrus, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, and Chris Stapleton.

CMH23 Board

In order to bring this regional unified approach, a diverse board was created.
This team has been working for the last year working to bringing this unified approach to life. 

W. Allen Gillum

W. Allen Gillum

Chairman

Sandy Hook, KY

Keith Casebolt

Keith Casebolt

Board Member

Pikeville, KY

Les Stapleton

Les Stapleton

Board Member

Prestonsburg, KY

Amanda Clark

Amanda Clark

Board Member

Ashland, KY

Dew Gorman

Dew Gorman

Board Member

Hazard, KY

Advancing Education

Through a partnership with Big Sandy Community & Technical College, students can earn credits working in television and radio while being granted a stage to practice their talent.

Music, history, tourism, and education all coming together to create CMH23.