Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

April showers brings May flowers and their sweet smell in the spring air. May brings horses and their smell in the air. Also May brings bluegrass festivals. Bluegrass festivals bring a lot of people together with a lot of other people who have names like Ralph, Jim & Jesse, Lewis Family, Osbornes, and so many more you can fill in for yourself. Are you ready for this? Well, you'd better get ready quick, it's here.

Little Roy on a roll

There's a lot coming up and a lot that's been happening. April brought Jim & Jesse and the Lewis Family together at Shepherdsville. "A great show,""A really great show." Those were the comments. But then what else would you expect from these two great groups. Little Roy was really on a roll.

Now about those tapes . . .

During my visiting time with Earl Phillips I found out a bit about those videos that were taped with a whole bunch of other folks. For example, the bluegrass taping done with Mac Wiseman had thirty bluegrass stars on it. The tape with Bill Gaither had I don't know how many. Little Roy told me it was quite an experience doing this. He sat by Lulu Roman. It was his first time to meet her. He found her and her story very impressing. Don't know when these tapes will be available. Later this year, perhaps not before fall. Probably just in time for Christmas giving. They recorded hours and hours that have to be edited into a useable bit. There will be several tapes each when completed.

The Lewis Family came to Shepherdsville from Indianapolis where they had spent two or three days doing the Gaither tapes, all gospel. I am very much looking forward to these. Man, wouldn't you like to have the complete raw footage of all of this.

Bluegrass in cyberspace

If you are a computer user and are on line, I would suggest you go to http://www.country.com if you haven't done so yet. Get into the music and then the artist file. Some of our favorites are there, along with pictures and quite a bit of information about them. Take a look. After all, that's what you got the thing for besides e-mail.

Sneaky Question

Here is where I will sneak in the question for this time. Name the artist who was born locally that had four songs in the Top 40, one each in 1946 and 1948 and two in 1949. The first one, 1946, "I Must Have Been Wrong."

Check it out

Speaking of e-mail, I will remind you I have an e-mail address at WFPK. Use it; I would like to hear from you. It is: bbryant@wfpk.org. You should also be able to check in at http://www.wfpk.org. Go to the talent and get information about a lot of the folks at the station. Yeah, they've got a blurb w/picture of me on there. Has to do, of course, with Sunday Bluegrass, my show from 8-11 p.m. each Sunday. The second Sunday of each month I feature traditional and old-time country from 9:30-10:30. The show every week is bluegrass, traditional country and old- time country.

Bluegrass Coming Up

Let's get a slight preview of upcoming events. That season is at hand.

There have been some changes for the Red Mule Festival in May. I have only heard this and I don't have any real information concerning the changes. For those who attend this festival, keep this in mind.

May 14 will find Leroy Troy at Music Ranch USA, West Point. Leroy is a big favorite around here and I want to see all of the folks there, especially those who ask me when Leroy Troy is coming back. Now you know. Leroy, as many of you know, was a regular on Hee Haw for two seasons. He is a one-man show and a top entertainer. If you need convincing, just be there for this one-of-a-kind. I remember one time at Owensboro a few years ago, Leroy stole the whole day on a Saturday afternoon. Took it away from all the "big" boys, out there all by himself, two banjos, a chair, and that little sly grin of The Tennessee Slicker. When he came off we were talking and Leroy said, "I'm something, ain't I?" Yes, Leroy my friend, you are something. I'll see you there.

C.R. Wilson's Bardstown Bluegrass Music Festival, June 24-26, at Bardstown of course. Thursday, open stage 8 p.m. till. Friday (noon start) Doyle Lawson (2 shows), Sam Wilson and The Bluegrass Colonels with Mike Lilly and Wendy Miller (Sat. only). Friday and Saturday, Blue Tradition, Bluegrass 101, The Sunnysiders, Fresh Cut Grass and others.

Kentucky Blue will show up at Corydon, Ind., on May 15 for the Corydon Jamboree.

For you folks who like to get away, you may want to travel to Denton Farm park, Denton, N.C. for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Music Festival. Doyle, Osbornes, Randall Hylton, IIIRD Tyme Out, J.D. Crowe, The Lewis Family, Jeanette Williams, Tony Rice, just to mention a few. This goes on May 7-9.

In June it is Festival time at the Horse Park, Lexington. June 12-13 to be exact. Who's there? The Dillards (The Darlings on the Andy Griffith Show), Seldom Scene, Lewis Family, IIIRD Tyme Out, J.D.Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Pam Gadd, the Krüger Bros. (that great group we were introduced to last October from Switzerland), and many more.

I suppose this is all for this time. Be sure to attend your favorite festival or the festival that has your favorites. All, I guess, except this month's answer. Born in Hardin County, Robert Owen Atcher, known as Bob Atcher, was the man. He was raised in North Dakota. Worked on WHAS Radio in the mid 1930s. Recorded for Columbia Records in 1937 first and was with the WLS National Barndance 1948-1970. Bob was mayor of Schaumburg, Ill., for 16 years. Bob Atcher died Oct. 30, 1993. (Information gleaned from The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits by Joel Whitburn).