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Now that. I. Like to welcome you all to. Grassroots music in Maryland and this program is devoted to. Bringing to you your music and many different kinds of music that a lot of the everyday people of Maryland play for themselves more in the informal way. This program is devoted to bluegrass music. Bluegrass Music is a Southern mostly mountain music that developed out of the old ballads fiddle and banjo music. The religious singing a lot of different kinds and out of Blues two is matter of fact the main personality in the development of bluegrass music was Bill Monroe Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and that's where it got its name from the Bluegrass Boys. And speaking of the Bluegrass Boys for five of the musicians here
on our program today have been at one time or another with Bill Monroe. We'd like to I'd like to introduce to you the first group. We have three groups. This one's from southern Pennsylvania northern Maryland area. And Del McCoury was with Bill Monroe back around oh about 10 years ago and he has one of the finest bands in the area doing the traditional sounds of bluegrass Del McCoury and the Dixie pals give him a head would you. Thank you.
Thank you thank you. Thank you like they would appreciate the hand and I wanted to sell the band so you know who all the big pals are first of all over playing the fiddle. The boy that plays his name is Bill next in line the banjo picker plays the banjo with its bill Runkle and Dick's they were playing the man Jerry McCurry playing bass fiddle in your chili Del McCoury and was down over the cell number that were recorded about a week ago one entitled How I'm the man.
You're the. One. Why.
Didn't you get. One. Thank you just a lot. Right now we're going to do a CT hit number this calls up for members of the band to sing and the fifth member he's going to play a little bit of the fiddle Dick and Bill and Jerry Mazeppa are going to do one that we recorded to one titled Fair enough.
But. That's because there are there.
Through this way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you again right now we're going to do it it NMR now call up the bitch they were to hit me on this number here and I'm not too sure of the name of this one but I'm going to say the booth man and then I'm on that.
You know. That's.
God. That. Thank you again. Right now we're going to speed the program up here and get it at that number Jerry McNair in this F. This is one that we've been saying for a couple years now when it got a role but in the bill.
Say I don't believe this. All right. Thank you Bill. Thank you. McCurry and the Dixie pals and that's good. Hard to grasp. It. Our next group has one of the finest of the old time banjo players who's brought old time banjo playing into more modern things they started that about 25 years ago I guess it was. He's originally from North Carolina and his partner is from Marion Virginia. We have Don Reno Bill Harrell the Tennessee cut up stars of starting a king.
Let me. Let. You know. Thank you. Let me walk. Me through.
The roof. You know. Thank you very kind and what a pleasure it is to be Christian with you wonderful folks here. I'll look up straw man Leon Morris on bass fiddle but I don't know but in barn or below Harlem get darn yours truly Don Reno in the five string banjo. We're going to do a little bit to do a lot of play and the cause is a lot more good music. The gun your way and we don't want to be in the way of any of it with here's a testimonial recorded about 19 and 53. I get an awful lot of requests for these one vote here today it's called a llama.
We like to do our latest thing with boy starting at Leon your own book on a join in one of the snippets on as it's called. We were going to be on the money. Me or.
My mama everybody. Started singing on the phone in our home. Oh yeah. When you're. Putting me in your pocket. For the Lord not everything.
Thank you very much. I doubt if you want to take a train ride all you gotta do is get an engineer in one of the trains in the world order.
Thank you. Thank you Rick on the audience in a branded one. I think many and many a national championship with that old little number the orange blossoms. Lot of folks enjoyed honoring those five string banjo pickin but I for one can enjoy the guitar pick and also win. For the next number is going to pick for the straight pick rather than the three finger pick. We're going to do it. There you go. The wind is blowing through the trees and instruments are gone with it I think. But this beach is flat out guitar playing in there to do it Don and endorsing an entirely countable rock n roll. You get at it you get
out of. It and. Get it. Right. I think it hit the bar of Iraq. I get it I think. Morning by morning
I get up off. Of it. Thank you Don. BILL HARE on the kind of speak up. That's fine you've heard a little bit of.
Lots of different kinds of song in bluegrass during this little half hour that we've had so far. A little bit of humor with the country boy rock n roll some songs a religious nature and some heart songs. So for. Any of those you look around very much you know that there's Country Music parks around here all throughout Maryland have a lot of bluegrass festivals this summer and there's quite a few left during the fall you should go out to see. And there's also a couple of magazines too that deal in bluegrass music especially bluegrass unlimited and mule skinner news. And these these fellows here are rated at c tops in about six different categories in a poll that they made I think they're the best band best vocalist best guitar player and so forth. You say you're the best guitar player. Anyway with all the younger people playing bluegrass music it's kind of really enjoying a revival now. A lot of people playing all kinds of different music.
And this is a band that pioneered in playing some of the more modern songs in the bluegrass style the country gentleman give them a hand what you. Like.
My friends I see. Like a little. My girl invites their little boys and let me introduce her. So you know our names are playing the bass fiddle from the state of Virginia. And remember the good while we're very proud of billiards on the base. Five string banjo can live as the Maryland Bill Emerson and a little get
a mandolin from the state of Tennessee Kings Ward Tennessee Dora Lawson on the island. And I'm from Louisiana My name's Charlie Wallace. This is a song we recorded some time back called Make Me a pallet on your floor.
Oh thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that our bus we don't believe in it yet. This is a quartet number here that we've just recently. What was the saying on this. We just recently rearranged this a little bit and. I think you might call the beautiful life.
Oh. My life love
me out. Oh. OK. Thank you. Thank you beautiful life. Next song is one of the numbers been doing very well courts. Around the country it's from my latest album. The legend of the rebel songs.
Ow ow ow. Ow ow ow ow. Ow. Ow.
Thank you very much this. Next number is an instrumental here that Bill Emerson wrote which is also on the latest album thoughts on the Sound of Music. It's called cowboys and Indians and the haunting introduction.
You can get. OK that's the Country Gentleman. Join us when you're over here Bill. Scoot over pretty close to us here. I forgot to mention at the beginning that I forgot to mention at the beginning before the country gentleman played that they record for Vanguard So you know where you can hear more of me if you'd like to and of course many places around our area here they play just like Don Reno Bill Harrell and also Del McCoury. What we want to do here is to get a chance to talk you know because we all do talk once in a while and give you a little bit more idea of some of the things that have gone to make up our kind of music our bluegrass music almost like a workshop on a folk festival. And. I think maybe we should start at the beginning. I'd like to ask Don Marino who was around central and I well actually western North Carolina
at the time when bluegrass music actually before bluegrass music got started to ask him what kind of music was around in your background. Well Mike we had several groups around and of the Senate they were out was raised I was very lucky to have the Monro brothers Charlie unveil the Blue Sky Boys. Cliff and Bill Carlisle featured real good country music and the Mars brothers who I think were some of the greatest back in my youth. And Byron Parker they all lied and the black drafted a bill as well as the black draft hillbillies about. Well that was original. Bunch of numbers there with a miner's bunch of Jenkins and pappy sure. Handsome and Sambo still open a bit at a terrific group together back then. There's a lot of mandolin and guitar brother groups right and a little bit of a Hawaiian music right there and most songs that have been
around or are they making up new songs and well a lot of them are making up new songs and a lot of them are saying the songs have been around a long time it was a very inventive period out thanked back then. That I went through and then in the 50s we had another inventive period and I think that started and now I think we've got another inventive period starting to go as I see the new groups play and. They're really playing mine. They're really doing great you know. I'm proud to see the younger musicians picking it up and. Really put metal whizzing in there and trying to come up with something new and they are doing. You know they really are and that's that's more of the the area that that the country gentlemen are in well I'm right you're still too I really like that they're still they've still got the flavor the old traditions you know they've still got the good foundation but they're just. Putting a little more from often on the case going on in my state. Bill Emerson where are you from originally. I was bored watching the CMI. How did you get interested in the Bluegrass. One morning when I was very young about. 12 years old I think
I got up and turned on my radio and lo and behold there it was. I was stuck after that and when you start playing the more modern tune as you made up that cowboys and Indians and yes that's one of my team. How long ago was that. Well I did that about two years ago but I'd like to say that when I started playing it was in the 50s the early mid 50s I'd say. And fellows like Don Reno here it was were great inspirations to me that I'd been for for Don and some of the others I've probably never never played them and you know another thing it probably is an inspiration to some of the older time musicians when the younger people pick up after them and develop it. I would guess you're another makes you feel better and hear somebody play when you're two. Well there what do you want to say for yourself here. I have an idea what I'd like to do here but I think I don't know ask me of course. We know where you're from you're from Caroline aren't you.
Ridgeway Yeah yeah and you live in Pennsylvania. Right. And like Bella I become interested in blue Grace first oh you know I heard old music my uncles in North Carolina they played old style banjo fiddle you know just the engine pedal but I never actually got to hear him that much you know and what got me interested. My brother used to turn the Grand Ole Opry and get Bill Monroe in course that damn maybe Don was playing with you know and then later on down and read smiley on Richmond we listen to them and don't thing we had to listen to far as good bluegrass music you know. Yeah. Well I guess that bluegrass music has continued you think that the festivals are helping it are absolutely I think that it's now much greater and bigger than it's ever been. There's more festivals I think bluegrass unlimited came along and it helped a lot of the NEA started the festivals and they just brought bluegrass to more people.
I feel like we're sort of in a musical renaissance these days in a way yes like you know kind of different music you know in younger people a they will know about all kinds of music and bluegrass is a is a good form of American folk music that's for sure. And everybody likes and this is becoming more popular over the West and. You know what I'd like to see. Sometimes I figure that I would really like to hear a whole show sometimes of bluegrass music I go to festivals quite a bit as you all probably have hit a festival every weekend haven't you this summer. But I remember those days up at the park's New River Ranch and Sunset Park where Don Reno and and the late Red smiley would come up with the group that they had and they do two or three shows and they'd have a chance to get into a lot of music that you can't get into the festival sometimes anymore. Seems I wonder why that is when you just don't have
time I guess in any group play and. Another thing that I'm proud to say. The college students how well they're taken to it in other words it's like when we started to school was very interested in. History like the father of our country George Washington Abraham Lincoln and they are known to find out. Where this stuff originated from and it is their music when they come to find out it started right here in America. Is American music absolutely comes from the heart of sincerity and with a lot of feeling and that's what they were looking for today. There's some comedy in it too and I remember those old comedy skits that they used to be a little bit now and then. Yeah. Did you ever do those anymore once in a while. See the man and I better know your attention and this is a chicken hot rod here actually sometimes. Well you know what I'd like to
try to do here before we end. We have time for a couple more tunes. I'd like for you and your group to kind of build a bluegrass band show people how each instrument sounds and then put it all together. See the old time music was maybe just a person sitting around singing. Bomb in my back when I was just a little bit of boy I remember some of the word games that they used to have when I was a little boy or you would hear sometimes that would be if it would sounded something like that. Then later on somebody's going whether that's gonna give it a little more. Added a sixth car.
Then somebody said why don't we play around with the group. So I was gonna join in with a little more here that way. OK there's that was a fine job of history there Don I wish we had more time to spend with this but I think. Well how about that. Man's out there putting fingers up there and he has seven. Why don't you all do another song we have time for military song before we do Jim I thought that was a Sawmiller ordered to soft drink there for a minute. But I'll tell you by the time we get all these groups in here. Now the words
I've really enjoyed to show you here today. Down Macquarie and the Dixie pound one of a group and of course a country gentleman. One of the finest groups in the country. And when you get with Mike Seeger I think Mike is but more things together than any one man in the country he has been an underground worker never really received the pats on the back these new Mica thank you done a great job in organizing a lot of things and helped a lot of people really. Thank you guys. And really the joy in life is given not receiving you know that. And every once in a while at the festivals we all get together with bankers and when fiddles playing to bankers and when Vettel doesn't have a wonderful town everybody gets an act and it just feels wonderful to have the whole group together toward us all come in and do it with thank you all road balloons in and out with it OK. OK this will be the end of our little program on bluegrass music. Part of
grass roots music in Maryland with Don Reno Bill Harrell the Tennessee code up the country gentleman and also. Oh I forgot to give you your mandolin back film occur in the Dixie pal OK don't go.
But. I think.
Time for a little bit more why don't you go ahead and do another one like it that sounds so fun. How about John Henry John Henry the steel drivin man.
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Grass Roots
Producing Organization
Maryland Public Television
Contributing Organization
Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
Public Broadcasting Service Program NOLA
AMCR 000113
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Episode Description
#2: Blue Grass
Created Date
Media type
Moving Image
Copyright Holder: MPT
Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maryland Public Television
Identifier: 35145.0 (MPT)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 01:00:00?
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Chicago: “Grass Roots,” 1972-08-16, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 3, 2022,
MLA: “Grass Roots.” 1972-08-16. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 3, 2022. <>.
APA: Grass Roots. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from