Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Is it Fall almost? Does Summer still linger? Well, school has started, and whatever is happening right now weather wise or otherwise, it is a time of transition. Me, I am a Summer people, Fall is okay, and I can hardly wait for Spring. Actually that other period, unmentioned, is a test-of-tolerance period. I suppose it is a time for all of us to slow down a bit, reflect on the past months and perhaps enjoy them all over again, or breathe a sigh of relief that some of it is over and just generally recharge for the next event and SPRING again.

IBMA World of Bluegrass

Although we may be winding down just a bit, there is still much to look forward to. More - much more - next time, but you are now officially reminded that IBMA World of Bluegrass is revving its banjo motors, fine-tuning the fiddle strings, warming the guitars, mandolins, bass fiddles and dobros, packing their lunch and heading for Louisville. They are at the starting line and the flag drops Oct. 18 for a bluegrass musical extravaganza and journey that reaches its finish line on the 24th. A journey that takes its participants to and through endless jam sessions, vendors, recording representatives, and that near fantasy world of bluegrass stars, legends, idols and music makers. The time new fans are brought into the fold, many fans get to meet and personally one-on-one greet these music makers we all admire. If you have put off making your arrangements to attend, you can't do it too soon. The Fan Fest itself is October 22-24 and all of this is at the Galt House right here in Louisville. PUT THE PAPER DOWN and step away from it to the nearest phone and contact IBMA at 270-684-9025 or toll free 1-888-GET-IBMA. Do that right now.

Those Fantastic Kruger Bros.

Moving on, as I guess I had better save some for next time, except for one item I shall mention here. The KRUGER BROS., that fantastic group from Switzerland, that have a rapidly expanding (and well-deserved) fan base here in this area and in many other areas of the country, are packing their bags for October. They will be on my show, Sunday Bluegrass (WFPK 91.9 FM, Sundays, 8-11 p.m.) on Sunday, the 17th, a date they announced when they were here in June, and on the Spirit of Jefferson the evening of the 20th. I feel privileged to have been asked to MC that event and I am looking forward to it with great anticipation. The cruise will board at 7:30 p.m. and sail at 8 p.m. Get tickets at the boat or office; no ticket-tron.

More details next issue.

Remembering Anita Carter

I suppose most of you know about the death of Anita Carter. A sad event, July 29. Anita, the youngest of the Carter sisters at 66, had battled health problems for a number of years. I had the great opportunity to have been acquainted with Maybelle and the girls at one time. It was so long ago and no contact for far too many years that they would not remember, and no reason for them to, but every reason for me to remember. On one occasion in the Fifties, they were appearing down home - Virginia - at the time I was a country DJ. Helen, Anita, and June had accepted an invitation to my parents' home for dinner before the show. It was a wonderful experience and one of many that my mother never forgot. Maybelle could not join us, as she was not getting to town in time. My mother was so impressed that they just felt so at home and were very casual. Even wanted to help her in the kitchen. Anita was more on the shy side than June especially. I have said this before and I am sticking by my story: As I see it, Anita Carter was sadly neglected by Nashville and the music industry. Anita Carter had one of, if not, as I am inclined to believe, the most beautiful female voice to ever enhance the music business, collectively and as a whole. A voice so clear it could only be compared to fine crystal with the brilliance of the most perfect diamonds. One when released soared to the level of angels. A voice that could touch the heart and soul of any who had the good fortune to hear it. As one simple bit of evidence I suggest a listen to "Sweet Memories," from the Columbia album The Carter Family - Three Generations. It may be difficult to find, but if you contact me I can suggest a couple of possible sources. This beautiful lady with her beautiful voice has left us with the last link in that chain, June Carter Cash.

Museum of Appalachia Big Event

A heads up on the huge week in October at the Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Tenn. The big event is all set for the 7th -10th. Among others, those "in attendance" are expected to be Mac Wiseman, Dr. Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Josh & Kenny, Doyle Lawson and Ricky Skaggs. This is just the beginning. So many others, just to mention one this time: Bob Douglas, a 99...yes I repeat ... 99-year-old, vigorous fiddle player. One of the most influential, legendary members of the Grand Ole Opry never had a No.1 hit record, although he did have a number of records in the charts. He was ?? More on this in the October issue, but make your plans NOW. Come with chairs, cameras, video cameras and perhaps best of all, family and friends.

September Bluegrass

There are other events in September such as the Bluegrass Festival at Iroquois Park sometime this month. As of this writing that is all I know about it.

At Bean Blossom, they are having a Country Music Hall of Fame Festival for two days, Sept. 10th & 11th. What a show it will be, especially for all of us traditional country music lovers. On Friday Gene Watson, Stonewall Jackson, Johnny Counterfeit, Jett Williams & Her Drifting Cowboys, John Hartford and George Riddle. That was Friday. And now Saturday: Tracy Lawrence, Daryl Singletary, Ricochet, "Mr. Doodle, Doo Doo Do" Del Reeves, Jett Williams, KITTY WELLS - JOHNNY WRIGHT, Bobby Wright & The Tennessee Mountain Boys and Johnny Counterfeit. Info: phone 812-988-6422 or 1-800-414-4677, also website at beanblossom.com, e-mail swnut@netusa1.net. There you have it, now it's up to you.

Randall Hylton will be at Cedar Crest Lodging & Entertainment Sept. 10, 8 p.m. The location is/was formerly KOA Campground, Campbellsville, Ky. Janelle and Jon Willis are making a determined effort to bring the best in bluegrass that they can on Friday nights. They are actively planning a festival for the first weekend in May. If all of that was not enough, they are starting a bluegrass radio show on Sunday nights from 8-9 p.m. If I can find my note, which I made only yesterday, I will give the minor details, like the station call letters and the position on the dial.

Congratulations, Old Friend!

A note on an old-time friend, Mr. Roy Harper: Mr. Harper will be going into the American Old Time Country Music Hall Of Fame, Walnut, Iowa, Sept. 5. At the Uncle Dave Macon Days this year he placed 2nd & 3rd in Free Wheeling Old Time Singing contest. Congratulations, old friend, and keep it up for years to come.

Keep in Touch

I suppose this is about all you or I can stand to download without an overload for this time. I really didn't forget, and I hope I didn't use this question before. The legendary Opry member was Roy Acuff. Keep in touch and I will be, at least each Sunday night from 8-11, WFPK FM 91.9, with the shortest, fastest and bestest three hours in radio.