June was an exciting month — and fast-moving. Starting on the eighth with a birthday (mine), followed with a trip to Virginia that week for my high school class reunion, just for starters. Whenever you have a chance to attend a high school reunion, DO IT! Same goes for attending a bluegrass festival.
It was a very satisfying experience to attend the reunion. I know, there is that burning question, "Which one was it?" I'm getting to that. I went to our first reunion, the 25th; I missed the next one, and was very anxious to attend this one. This was our 50th, and the class "thanked" me when I reminded them this meant we had been out of high school for half a century. Sort of gives a different perspective when you look at it that way. I performed a little magic for them and was wonderfully received
At the time I am writing this, I am looking forward to my yearly trip to Michigan and the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival. I am especially hopeful and looking forward to seeing some special folks this time. I have high hopes of seeing Tessie. Tessie is the dear little lady I met there several years ago and had a picture with her in Bluegrass Unlimited this last March. Tessie was 100 last October. I asked her then if she would be back this year and she said, "I'll be right here."
Another old and dear friend — actually friends — I am expecting to either see at the festival or manage a visit with are Wade and Julia Mainer. Wade was 91 in April and was recovering from bypass surgery. Later this year when he feels sufficiently recovered he is expecting to record two new tapes. (More power to you, Wade. I, as many others who have requested you to record again, will be looking for these.) Friends and folks like these wonderful people are a true joy and blessing to know and visit with. Try it, you will be amazed at what it does for you.
What's gonna be happening?
July 4 at West Point, Independence Day Show and cookout. Show will feature John Berry, local musician and singer. John spent a year on the road with Doyle Lawson. Made quite a hit the last time he was at West Point. Fort Duffield and city tours available that day.
Also on July 4, Kentucky Blue will be at Clear Creek Park, Shelbyville, Ky.
On July 8, Brushfire will be at the 4-H Fairgrounds, New Albany, Ind. Randall Hylton will also be featured at this event.
July 24, Red Lick Festival, Irvine, Ky.
August 1-2, Crown Point Festival, Crown Point, Ind., With Blue Night.
July 4, The Lewis Family will be at Renfro Valley. The Renfro Valley Festival (July 2-4) will also include Del McCoury, Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek, J.D. Crowe & The New South, Reno Bros., Larry Stephenson, Charlie Sizemore and many more.
Homecoming '98 (A Gospel Music Reunion) will happen July 17 at Rosine (Ky.) Bluegrass Park. Show is FREE, starts at 6 p.m., and will feature The Perrys, The Isaacs, The Easters, The Crossmen, and host family The Crabb Family.
July 16-18, Marshall Bluegrass Festival, Marshall, Michigan. This show includes Dr. Ralph Sanley, Jimmy Martin, The Larry Stephenson Band, Reno Bros., David Davis and The Warrior River Boys, Gary Brewer, Blue Velvet, Goins Bros., and many more.
Well, I guess this will be enough to fill your plate for this time.
There are a lot of events still to come that I'll be looking forward to and will give you details later. One of those events is one of my favorites for the year, The Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Tenn., in October. Not too soon to make your plans to attend.
We're a little short this time (use the big print, Paul). It has been a very busy month with more to come. Stay tuned to Sunday Bluegrass, WFPK, Sunday nights, 8-11 p.m., for the "shortest, fastest and bestest three hours in radio." You never know who may show up, drop in or what may happen.
One Sunday last month I looked up and here comes Alan Phelps, dobro and all, through the door, ready to pick. I love surprises, especially that kind. (Thanks, Alan.) And thanks to all of you who listen. Spread the word, will you?
Will have more next time. Take care and have a good festival summer.