The "Cumberland Highlanders" show reverently carries the music of America's back roads, especially Kentucky's Bluegrass Music, in addition to featuring the culture, and scenery of Kentucky, to its viewers. The show provides an uplifting television experience that is relaxing, and steeped with Kentucky's natural beauty. Bluegrass has a long history yet is exploding in popularity here and now.
For the first time ever, the music of rural America has been combined with the natural rustic environment to create a television show that aims to preserve not only traditional American bluegrass and mountain music, but also the way of life that it sprang from. Producer and creator, Dr. Campbell Mercer, has always had a love for rural America and its ways and music, especially the music of Bill Monroe, known as the Father of Bluegrass. In 1980, Co-producer Julie Ann Mercer met her future husband, Campbell, at her first bluegrass show when Campbell' s band was playing in Omaha. Thus began a partnership that would carry the couple on a wild ride through veterinary clinic ownership, band leadership, cattle farming, radio show and television production, and finally, parenthood. Married for 28 years, they have three children, Natalie Rose, Jenny Lynn, and Joseph Carter.
The Mercers' love of rural America has created a unique drawing card for the "Cumberland Highlanders" show: it is videotaped almost entirely outside.
Guest acts on the show include bluegrass patriarch and Grammy winner Dr. Ralph Stanley and Grand Ole Opry member Jesse McReynolds. The Cumberland Highlanders themselves are notable bluegrass performers and several are former members of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, including co-host Wayne Lewis. Many guests are traditional bluegrass musicians and many play music that was part of the roots of bluegrass.
Viewers have one common impression about the "Cumberland Highlanders": they transport you away from your living room and make you a part of another time and culture.