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Sunday, October 16, 2011


     sheets family and bill joines

     david joines

     joe wyatt, tim lewis, gracen lucas

     kermit pruitt, joe irwin

     bill dancy, wade petty, charlie edwards

     the rise and shine band

    eddie bakeberg, dr jack cahn, lynn worth, dr keith oliver  --  the drones

    red hat dancers

The Hillbilly Show Saturday night was nearly all music this year. A variety of music was played by different string bands and singers. I got a couple pictures of Dorothy Morris singing, but microphone stand was in front of her face, the only way I could get it from where I was standing. I was trying to get a picture of the band with a good face of Dorothy in it, and while trying to take the picture, standing at the edge of the open curtain out of sight of the audience. I was told to open the curtain more. When I did, I could only get one view of the band and it was with the mic rod in her face. Pulling the rope that opened and closed the curtain was my role. I got all the pictures from my station at the edge of the curtain out of sight of the audience. Used the zoom to get the close-ups.

The musicians in the pictures are some of the musicians of our county, Alleghany. The Rise & Shine Band plays at the Jubilee, the square dance place in downtown Sparta. A few years ago a bunch of white middle class women moved in here from the suburbs of Charlotte, Raleigh, W-S, Florida, and join groups to get to know people. They thought the Jubilee too corny to have on Main St. It didn't fit their image of Sparta a suburb of Blowing Rock. They wanted to tear the building down and make a walkway to the vacant lot behind the Main St businesses where the Teapot Museum was once projected to save us. Agnes, through connections in Raleigh, had the building declared an historical site, the Trojan movie theater, and defeated them. At the time, it was alarming, because it was being run through the process so fast that if something weren't done right away, it would be bulldozed down, Agnes and Ernest put out of their livelihood. That's of no concern when it comes to beautification, putting big plastic flower pots on the sidewalks people have to walk around that have dead flowers in them 2/3 of the year. Somebody plants them, nobody maintains them.

The audience tonight was no more than we've had the last several years. Quite a lot of advertising done this year didn't seem to make any difference, unless a whole lot less would have come otherwise. I'm thinking it might have to do with the people what would go to the Hillbilly Show are already going. It's mountain people specific, by mountain people, for mountain people. The people who think it's too ridiculous to think about, let along go to, aren't going to go, and advertising won't persuade them. It's old-fashioned and, besides, there was a football game tonight. Whatever the case, I'd guess somewhere between 700 and 800. That's a good sized crowd. The Hillbilly Show is the only show of local talent we have besides the fiddlers convention. The Jubilee on Main St has cars parked all up and down the street on the nights it's open. The other nights of the week, you don't see cars parked on Main St.

The audience enjoyed the show. The people putting it on enjoyed their parts. It was good old-time, bluegrass, country music and folk. I don't recall the Hillbilly Show having this much music in it and this many musicians. Dr Cahn played fiddle with the band The Drones. It was Cahn, Dr Oliver, the optometrist, Eddie Bakeberg and Lynn Worth. She played banjo and played twin fiddle with Jack Cahn and it sounded good. Initially, I think they meant drones like the drone string on a banjo, the same note every time it's struck. Now with the Afghanistan war we have flying drones that assassinate from the sky. A whole new meaning for the Drones. I'd like to see them embrace the meaning, use a picture of one for the band's logo. But that's one of those things fun to think about, but boring when it's done. Gracen Lucas, Tim Lewis and Joe Wyatt made some very respectable music. Wade Petty's fiddle made some beautiful music. Charlie Edwards, good singer, good guitar player. Mason Wagoner, a boy of early teens played a couple of old-time tunes very well on his banjo. I had to watch every performance closely to know when to pull the curtains. I liked watching it closely. I got a photograph of what I saw, the stage on the left, the curtain down the middle, backstage on the right.



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