Subject: Marietta, GA Festival (kinda' long)
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 18:29:16 -0500
From: Bill Brown <bcbrown@earthlink.net>
To: "Bluegrass music discussion." <BGRASS-L@LSV.UKY.EDU>
 
Well, Folks...Billy and Faye Johnson have put another Marietta (GA) festival in the books and what a weekend! The weather turned out to be pretty much lousy with rain, cool temps, etc. BUT it just seemed to draw festival-ites together and what a gathering it was...Stage shows drew excellent crowds through the late shows as L-er Lee Taylor and the Same Old Boys can attest. They played the last show each evening and the crowd did not want the music to end.
 
Highlights for me: 1) arriving to find Mr. Mack and Ms Evelyn Farley along with Kent and Georgia Olson (Pass Time bluegrass) jammin' in one of the many rooms available. Until you have heard Mr. Mack doing 'Raggedy Ann' you ain't heard fiddlin' the way it ought to be done. 2) hearing Harl Baggett, Joe Johnson, Gabe Debere, Mark Thrower, and Gary Blair doing some Ol' time music the way it has been done in Georgia tradition since waaaay before Monroe, Scruggs, Flatt...raw, powerful, and just because it HAS to be done. 3) a jam session involving Hughie Wylie, Roger Robinson, Gerry Hall, David Anderson (Broad River Bluegrass) and others. Powerful BLUEGRASS! 4) just sitting and listening in a cold, windy, open room to Kerry Warbington practice scales on a banjo...if anyone knows and navigates the fingerboard better, I certainly have not run across them. 5) hearing Murray Freeman (of GA Bound) singing with Frances Mooney. For those of us in the 'Georgia-tradition,' I can't imagine any finer. 6) seeing and hearing Elwood Suggins back on the stage. Certainly one of the finer bass singers ever in bluegrass. 7) receiving a complimentary copy of an early 'Ridge Runner' album LP. Includes Murray Freeman, Connie Morris, Tommy Nations, and Lee Melton - 1977. AND produced by Mr. Carl Queen of Atteiram records (also at the festival). Unfortunately, I could not find a 'sharpie' to get autographs - all but Mr. Melton were at the festival - but that omission will be taken care of. 8) getting to socialize with several of the soon-to-be inductees of the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame/Honor. 9), being present for a moving tribute to Mr. Bob Pinyan - former promoter of the festival along with several other festivals - who passed away earlier this year. Ms. Mildred led this very fitting, uplifting portion of the program. 10), 11), 12) etc. getting to socialize with many friends that I don't get to see quite as often at this point since I now live in Knoxville...L-er Mike Fleming, Red Yates, Kerry Warbington, Connie Morris, Lonetta Essary (pres of SouthEastern Bluegrass Association), L-er Hughie Wylie, John and Debbie Farley, 'net' friends that I can now put names and faces with...
 
My regrets - just could not get around to all the jam sessions, stage shows, AND I know I have left a lot out, but I did get pictures and will be adding to my Marietta, GA Festival web site at ( http://bcbrown.simplenet.com/bluegrass/marietta/ ) - probably by the end of the upcoming week. By the way, one story you WON'T hear/see on the web site was related by Wesley Clackum (sp) concerning the late 'Doodle' Thrower and a give-away t-shirt offer, but I'm sure Wesley, or Mike Fleming will be glad to recount, if you but ask....
 
Ya'll shoulda' been there...
 
Bill
 
[NOTE: My sincere apologies for not getting pictures of all the groups who performed. I will do my best to add more in the future.]



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