Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody! Didn’t think we’d make it did you? (You know, that calendar thing we were warned about.) I hope your Christmas and the whole season was all you hoped it would be and maybe a little more. It is a new year and in some ways maybe a fresh start. Quite often a new beginning is just what we need, followed closely by a new outlook and attitude. Boil this down and these are best wishes for a promising future in this year of 2013.

A quick look back at some info that wasn’t available in time for the last issue. Sonya Cotton’s mail November 28, subject 3rd Holiday Pick Inn a BIG Success. It was, from what her note tells me. Here are the details just as she sent them. “Thanks to everyone who attended and supported the 3rd Holiday Pick Inn last Saturday. A crowd of at least 250 enjoyed an afternoon and evening of bluegrass fellowship. Jamming started at 3 p.m. and staged performances at 5 p.m.. Thanks to all of our donors who provided raffle prizes that were awarded between band performances. Many thanks to the management and staff of the Holiday Inn Hurstbourne who donated the venue! What a great partnership. Congratulations to all! $1,780 and 2 truck loads of toys were collected this year to benefit the Home Of The Innocents and the Center for Women & Families. May each of you enjoy a safe and peace-filled holiday season. Keep on pickin’ and grinnin’…”. That’s bluegrass folks for you, down to earth and just plain good folks to be associated with.

A note that I received earlier in December concerning bluegrass musician Charlie Sizemore. Charlie Sizemore Chosen as Distinguished Alumni of the Year by Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Sizemore Has Raised Over $70,000 to Fund Scholarships. After Prestonsburg Community College, he enrolled in University of Kentucky, graduating with High Distinction in 1990. Then he moved to Nashville, enrolled in Nashville’s School of Law and earned a law degree with honors. This really doesn’t surprise me at all. I first met and became acquainted with Charlie when he was Ralph Stanley’s lead singer, joining the band at the age of 16. Through most of this, Charlie Sizemore was a full-time student, musician and married with a family and carrying a grade average of 4. He told me one time after graduation he was thinking of going on and get his master’s degree. When asked he said ”why not, it’s just so easy.” He now has a law practice in Nashville. I was and still am amused at a song on a recent CD release of his. That song being “No Lawyers In Heaven.” Congratulations and thanks Charlie Sizemore. I am always glad to be able to say we are friends and we are.

By the time you get to read this may be too late, will probably be. Either way I hope you may have been with me for the New Year’s day all HANK WILLIAMS Sr. on WFPK noon to three. A lot of folks seem to like it and some want to know a little about it. I started this about 1956, I think it was. I had a show on a commercial station at my home in Virginia. New Year’s Day is a holiday and I knew I would be the only one at the station that day. I decided I would take my Hank records (78s) no less and play all Hank Williams on my mid- day shift from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I was a little unsure how an audience would go for one artist, even Hank Williams for four hours. To keep this a bit short, it became a real winner. After about two years at WFPL (now on WFPK 91.9 FM) I asked the then-manager about putting that on here. He was for it and that’s how it came about. Still a looked forward by many listeners and myself after all these years. A wee note here: I had the privilege of meeting Hank one time and still have a genuine hand-writ Hank Williams autograph.

Your choice : The usual jams are going on as far as I know. A change in the Vine grove Friday night jams is now in effect. The jam sessions in Vine Grove City Hall, 6 – 10 p.m. Friday nights have changed to the 1st and 3rd. Fridays only. Now to Shepherdsville Music Barn; here’s what/who is coming. January – 4th – The Tommy Webb Band – 11th –Kentucky Blue – 18th – Spinney Bros. – 25th. – James King and February 1 – Nathan Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys.

That about does it for this time. Keep your resolutions, start the year off with optimism and improve every day. Don’t forget your regular dose of Sunday Bluegrass ever Sunday from 8 – 11p.m. on 91.9 FM WFPK. Thanks to each and every one who are with me and staying. Best of blessings to one and all for 2013 y’all.