Missouri Valley, Iowa (NTCMA) - "When it comes to awards and honors, it's usually the well known that get all the thunder, and those that follow, or even those that have paved the way, somehow get lost in the lightning." Bob Everhart, the President of the National
Traditional Country Music
Assn., is busy preparing for America's Old Time Country Music
Hall of Fame inductees. "We've been doing this since 1976, and what started as a recognition of talent, dedication, loyalty, and honor for those in the upper Midwest, has become a fairly large institution of honor for nearly all those involved in traditional country and bluegrass music at a national level.
"As each year has gone by, we have had a surprising number of interested celebrities interested in our work, especially our devotion to the preservation of America's old-time country and bluegrass music. This particular music, perhaps the most American of all musical art forms, came over on the Mayflower. Even though those Pilgrims had been living in Holland for a very long time before they made the brave trip to America, they brought with them the music of their forefathers, which eventually penetrated the entire Appalachian Mountain Range, and finally in the back seat of covered wagons heading west to settle this broad new land. We in the upper Midwest have been very fortunate to have so many preservationists keeping the older songs and styles alive, even the large number of old-time fiddlers that keep the melodies and tunes alive. We keep honoring them, and we keep honoring those that have taken the music to higher levels than anyone in the upper Midwest would ever hope to aspire to."
According to Everhart, the celebrities being inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame this year, are more than at any previous time, what he thinks is a reflection of not only the work of the NTCMA, but also the interest in the Pioneer Music Museum and the Hall of Fame.
Brenda Allen of Omaha, Nebraska, was one of the Taylor Sisters when Johnny Cash heard them and asked them to open his shows for him. Brenda was also the first singer that worked with Box Car Willie's band, when he was still in the Air Force in Nebraska, and later she helped co-write "North To Alaska" for Johnny Horton.
Jim Ed Brown still performing on the Grand Ole Opry, one of the original founding members of the "Browns" with recorded music hits spanning several generations.
Max D Barnes, one of Nashville's most successful songwriters, born in Hardscratch, Iowa, he rose to the pinnacle of songwriter success.
Carlene Carter, daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith, several huge hits, and movie roles to her credit.
Larry Cordle, though recently recovering from prostrate surgery, Larry gained nomination to the Hall of Fame for his song "Murder on Music Row."
Johnny Horton (and son Tommy) Both go into the Hall of Fame for numerous hits, and the continuation of carrying on this tradition of country music
Clent Holmes one of the original Hank Williams Sr., Drifting Cowboys
Bobby Lewis star of the Grand Ole Opry, the first performer to play the 'lute' on that show, and recording artist of a number of hit records.
Jody Miller skyrocketed to stardom on the merit of "Queen of the House" which was released at the same time Roger Miller did "King of the Road."
C. W. McCall though living in Colorado, and ailing, hopes to be at the festival this year even though he was nominated three years ago. His entire family were music makers in the upper midwest, mostly around the Audubon area.
Pee Wee Moultrie from Alabama was in the original Hank Williams Sr., Drifting Cowboys.
Jimmy C Newman the "King" of the Cajuns, had a number of hits before he finally did "Alligator Man." Star of the Louisiana Hayride before the Grand Ole Opry.
Stella Parton had several hit records, better known for her charity work, and being the sister of Dolly Parton
Joe Pennington another original Hank Williams Sr., Drifting Cowboy
Johnny Vincent Family includes the very famous Rhonda Vincent, daughter of Johnny and Carolyn Vincent, along with brothers Brian and Darrin
Lucretia Williams stepdaughter of Hank Williams Sr.
Also on the agenda of awards and honors, the National Traditional Country Music Association gives it's annual "Rising Legend Award" created by Jack Greene to deserving up and coming artists. This year there are three; Johnny Bellar, a Dobro player from Ashland City, Tn.; Ralph Moisa, Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, a Native American performer and culture preservationist; and Jim & Jeanne Martin, Ashland, Ne., cowboy music performers and preservationists.
The seven-day festival that hosts all these awards, also boasts ten sound stages and over 600 performers of old-time country, golden classic country, bluegrass, even folk and ragtime music, all of it going from August 28 through September 3, at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Missouri Valley, Iowa. There are six evening dances of old-time dance style, workshops, contests in over 30 categories, and even a special church called "The Church Without Walls" that will host a chrismatic minister and gospel music the entire seven days. Showcases for Crackerbarrel Restaurant and others take place, and there is even room for Arts and Crafts and some flea market items. No liquor of illegal drugs of any kind are allowed, and it's recommended that audience members bring their own lawn chairs to make the experience even more enjoyable.
"We've been doing this for 31 years, and are now the largest, and longest running festival devoted to the many forms of bluegrass and country music existing west of the Mississippi River. It's an experience that is hard to describe, and admission is incredibly low for the ten stages of entertainment offered by the NTCMA. It's all part of the Pioneer Ag Expo, since it's inception in 1976, and though the Ag Expo has grown smaller over the years, the music is superlative, the performers incredibly talented, and the entertainers come from around the world," says Sheila Everhart, Co-Host and Director of the Festival.
Arts & Crafts space availability, and further information is available at the NTCMA website: http://www.oldtimemusic.bigstep.com