August’s Farm and Fun Time showcased some of the best in contemporary bluegrass! Thanks to our sponsor Eastman Credit Union, Radio Bristol was able to bring Farm and Fun Time to not only those in the audience or tuned in to WBCM-LP, but to viewers far and wide via Facebook Live. Be sure to like WBCM – Radio Bristol on Facebook to tune in every month!
Host band Bill and the Belles started the show on this summer evening with the sunny Roger Miller classic, “Walking in the Sunshine.” Following their always fun and lighthearted performance, things got corny – cream corny that is! – as Charles Parker shared an old family recipe for cream corn for Farm and Fun Time’s “Heirloom Recipe.” A champion of local Southwest Virginia food and the chef at Abingdon’s Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace, Parker learned to love local produce and utilize it in his dishes from his grandma. An important part of Appalachian foodways is canning, and Parker recalls preparing cream corn to can. In honor of the labor that goes into this recipe, Bill and the Belles sang a new song: “The Corn Shuckin’ Song.”
Our evening’s first musical guest was Irene Kelley. With a songwriting career that spans the past three decades, she’s had songs recorded by Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and a score of other Nashville stars. However, Irene has maintained a strong following in her own right, and for August’s Farm and Fun Time, she performed songs off her recent project, Benny’s TV Repair. Singing about trains and home and even paying homage to Native Americans, Kelley’s strong songwriting captivated our audience, and her capable band brought these timeless stories to life.
This month’s “Radio Bristol Farm Report” showcased Chuckey, Tennessee’s own Greene Hemp Company. Our visit to the Ole Appalachian Hemp Farm was an informative experience where we learned about this sustainable and versatile product! Here’s a video from our visit:
For the Farm and Fun Time team and our live and on-air audiences, it was a great pleasure to have the Lonesome River Band, one of the longest running and most influential bluegrass bands on the scene today. Founded 37 years ago, Lonesome River Band has been bringing a fresh take on the traditions of bluegrass music with their distinct drive and high-energy performances. Performing a mix of original songs and classics, the Southwest Virginia- based group brought down the house with soulful singings and hard-driving playing. In the 1940s, the bluegrass bands that performed on WCYB’s original Farm and Fun Time were pushing the boundaries of what was then simply country music. With Lonesome River Band as a group that has perpetuated the innovation of those groups, it was a full circle moment to have them on the stage for our continuation of the WCYB show’s legacy.
Thanks to everyone who came and helped make August’s Farm and Fun Time another successful evening of fun and music! September’s show will be part of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, so stayed tuned for a special announcement. Tickets are on sale for October’s Farm and Fun Time featuring Chatham County Line, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, and host band Bill and the Belles. We hope to see you there!