Left to right, the Dillards’ Rodney Dillard, Mitch Jayne, Doug Dillard, Dean Webb; the Cumberlands’ Dave Cosson, Harold Thom, Betty Thom.

AREN’T THEY DARLINGS? The Dillards, perhaps best known as the Darlings of the Andy Griffith Show, made a rare appearance at the Kentucky Sampler on June 6 in the infield at Churchill Downs. The original Dillards lineup proved to be a winning combination, providing the best payoff ever on a $2 bet. Actually, the music was free with the $2 admission to the Downs.

Spotted among the fans was this newspaper’s intrepid bluegrass columnist, Berk Bryant, who swapped Bill Monroe stories with Rodney Dillard and posed for photos with bluegrass music’s fabulous foursome. And yes, we got “the look.”

Harold and Betty Thom, longtime friends of the Dillards and heart and soul of The Cumberlands, performed with Dave Cosson and Rick Harper at each of the day’s two shows, returning on June 7 for two performances with Tim Krekel.

Bardstown Bluegrass Music Festival

Bardstown banjo player George Brown and Louisville guitarist Leroy Matherly took advantage of a supper break to join with other parking lot pickers in a rousing rendition of "I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky" on June 20 at the Bardstown Bluegrass Music Festival.
Later, onstage, The Richard Jett Singers impressed the crowd with their enthusiastic set of red, white and bluegrass.