Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Hap-Hap-HAPPEEENOOYAR, er, make that New Year! I express hope your Christmas was wonderful and that you are looking forward to a fantastic year ahead. So much to do, so many plans to make and just so much to look forward to. There's new beginnings, new friends you haven't even met yet, and lots of good music — bluegrass music — lots of good festivals and concerts. Take on a positive attitude for this year. It's the end of a century, the end of many things, individual among us, and a unique opportunity to start a new page. This year and the next one and that instant in time that connects the two is something that only those of us who are here at that moment will be a part of.

I'll bet you are starting to suspect that I don't have a whole lot for this column. You're probably right. But I am going to try. I hope you may have found those special bluegrass CDs or tapes in your stocking hung by the chimney, or anything else that would support them, with great care. I also hope you removed them from the sock before playing or wearing.

There are two events coming on my show [WFPK 91.9 FM] this first week of the New Year. I hope some of you see this before these "specials" take place.


The first one is New Year's Day, 3-6 p.m. As mentioned before, that will be an all Hank Williams SR. show. I have been fortunate enough to obtain the new 10-CD set on Hank Williams. As of this writing I have not had the time to fully review it. I have found a number of exciting things included. This set contains all of his recordings (studio), many numbers taken from a various assortment of transcriptions, demos and the like. A couple of things you may never have heard or were aware of will be/have been on the New Year's Day show. A duet with Jimmy Dickens, and a number when he unexpectedly walked out and sang with Anita Carter as she was doing a song. Lots of great stuff like that.

l got this set at Hawley~Cooke Booksellers. You should look it over. As the cover sheet puts it, 10 CDs, 225 recordings, 53 previously unreleased. There are also two booklets, one contains the CDs, over 150 pages, more than 140 photos, most rare and previously unpublished. There is much, much here on Hank, his music and the man." This is "The Complete Hank Williams."

IBMA Awards Show '98

Second event will be (or was) the first Sunday, Jan. 3. The first hour of Sunday Bluegrass that night is taped. The final two hours, 9-11 p. m., will be a broadcast of the IBMA Awards Show from October '98. For those of you who were unable to attend or here, now's your chance. Hope you will enjoy it.

Live Bluegrass

Here is a don't-miss/can't say I haven't told you. On Jan. 8 Dr. Ralph Stanley and all of his Clinch Mountain Boys will roll into Shepherdsville for the annual first show of the new year, always with Ralph. Then they will head for Clay City and Meadowgreen Park. Plan ahead for April 1 (a Thursday night, and most appropriate), Little Roy, The Lewis Family and Jim & ]esse. Yep, at Shepherdsville. Go see all of these folks I have mentioned. Give them your best wishes for the coming year and let's hope the weather holds.

It Was A Very Good Year

This past year has been a good year. I sincerely appreciate all of you and your support of me and the program, whether it be by listening, calls during the fund drives, calls to the show, calls to the station about the show, letters and such wonderful comments to me, and by attending the concerts and festivals. My best wishes to you all for a happy, prosperous and successful NEW YEAR I999!