Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

By Berk Bryant

Already, I just can't believe it is this time already. May, where did you go, why did you leave so soon? There was just so much to do, I couldn't it all. How about you? So much went on in May that I'll just have to sit here and think about June and hope something from May comes to mind.

Learning the Ropes

I do know that the learning process at the station, WFPK, is an ongoing learning, developing process. Each week I get a little more used to making friends with all of the new equipment and gadgets and stuff I have to remember when and how to do. I did tape, well actually recorded, my first show with the new equipment during May. We now record shows right into the DAD machine, no tape, just into the computer system. Name the show, give it an air date and time, and nobody has to be anywhere around. It just starts and you hear it and the next program starts and repeats the process. As most of you know, I record my shows only when I don't expect to be there on a given night due to other commitments.

The New & the Old

June is going to be a big month, very busy. Public Radio Partnership is having an opening on the 10th. Show off the new facilities and that sort of thing. I will expect to take part in that. It should be quite a day. Actually I will have had quite a day a couple of days earlier. It's that time of the year again when the old man gets older still, I hope. As you know by now, I write this a week or so ahead of time and expect to be around to read it in print. [Happy 39th, Berk. Just kidding with the headline. — Ed. Em.]

Recalling Rob Mashburn

If you shuffle enough papers around, read enough scraps, you will eventually come across that note you wrote to yourself that you can actually read and remember what it was for. I knew I had such a note and just found it. I should not have needed it for this item, however I know myself. Remember that birthday I mentioned above? Well that's why I have to have these notes. Listeners to Sunday Bluegrass, Sundays, WFPK, 8-11 p.m., have heard me play and talk about a fellow I met at Norris, Tenn., last October. A fellow that I have made reference to in some earlier columns. Rob Mashburn, a tremendous singer and a great crowd-pleaser, along with his partner, L.B. Solesbee. The May issue of Bluegrass Unlimited came and in scanning through it I was truly shocked to read that Rob Mashburn died first part of March. I had met him last October and was looking forward to getting much better acquainted with the two of them this year. Rob had given me a copy of their CD and I really liked everything on it. He was more of a country — real country — singer and, together with L.B.'s tenor, they made a great team. They often played Raymond Fairchild's Maggie Valley show and Raymond often played with them at Norris. Just to mention a couple of their best numbers on the CD, one especially that Raymond introduced as the greatest song ever written, is a song called "November Fields," and there is no question it is a tremendous song. The other, a song all performers, especially guitarists, can relate to, is called "The Picker." Rob, I and many, many others will truly miss you and your great performances. You were The Picker.

Let's Go Pickin'

June has a good bit to offer and I'm going to serve it up right here, right now:

• West Point Music Ranch USA

June 3, Touch Of Gospel with Linda Hunt of Radcliff and Kevin Drame of Falls of Rough.

June 10, Legacy show, Loretta Lynn, featuring Judy Peach of Lawrenceburg.

It's Elvis in Hawaii June 17, with Verland Hatmaker from Vine Grove and Upshaw Briggs from Louisville.

June 24, '50s show.

• The Kruger Bros. (right, the fabulous Swiss guys), June 5, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Lexington, Ky., and then the Radisson Hotel Lobby in Lexington.

June 6-7, Stanton Bluegrass Camp, Stanton, Ky.

June 8 (my b'day) Summer Concert Series, Owensboro.

June 9, Friday After 5 Festival, Owensboro.

June 10, Festival of The Bluegrass, Lexington.

June 20-22, Dollywood.

Call me at WFPK during my Sunday night show for additional dates, at 814-WFPK.

• Festival of the Bluegrass, Lexington, June 8-11, featuring Lonesome River Band (Sat.), Doyle Lawson (Sat.), J.D. Crowe (Thur.), Dry Branch Fire Squad (Sat./Sun.), IIIRD Tyme Out (Fri.), Seldom Scene (Sat.). Ernest (Ernie) Ashworth had eight songs to chart in the top ten. How many hit No. 1? Let's see now, where did I leave off? Oh yes, Festival of the Bluegrass, The Lewis Family (Fri.), Valerie Smith (Thur.), Kentucky Blue (Fri. & Sun.), Mountain Heart (Fri.), Kruger Bros. (Fri.), and others.

• Stringbean Bluegrass Festival, Jackson Co., Ky., June 14-17, with Ralph Stanley, Mike Snider, Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek, Larry Fuller, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and others.

• Indiana State Picking & Fiddling Championships, June 23-24, Prides' Creek Park, Petersburg, Ind.,

• June 22-24, A. R. White & Family 6th Annual Bardstown Bluegrass Festival. Friday: Jimmy Martin and Sunny Mountain Boys, Gary Brewer & Kentucky Ramblers, Bluegrass 101, Blue Tradition and Middle Creek. Saturday: Dale Ann Bradley & Coon Creek, Gary Brewer, Bluegrass 101, Bluegrass Tradition, Bluegrass Express and Middle Creek.

• Charlotte Bluegrass Festival, Charlotte, Mich., June 22-25, with The Osborne Bros., Lost & Found, Jeanette Williams, Vince Combs, Jim & Jesse, Stevens Sisters, Lewis Family, Dr. Ralph Stanley and many others. Oh, lest I forget, Ernie Ashworth had one No. 1 hit and it was … "Talk Back Trembling Lips."

Stay Tuned

I think this will be it for this time. Y'all stay tuned each Sunday night, 8-11 p.m., Sunday Bluegrass, "The Shortest, Fastest and Bestest" three hours in radio, WFPK, 91.9 FM in our brand new facilities on 4th St. in Louisville. Phone me on Sunday nights at 814-WFPK or e-mail