Hammin’ it up on Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Hammin’ it up on Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time

Radio Bristol had another fabulous Farm and Fun Time last week on June 8 with many surprises including a test run for future live television broadcasts on BTES! For those of you poor souls that may have missed it or for those of you craving another heaping helping, here’s a recap!

As always Farm and Fun Time house band Bill and the Belles kicked things off with some sweet romantic ditties leading into the first segment of the evening – the “Heirloom Recipe.” This month we focused on one of the most highly debated and controversial foods found in American cuisine – barbecue. Local barbecue legend Larry Proffitt, the second generation owner of Ridgewood Barbecue, an internationally renowned restaurant in Bluff City, Tennessee, joined us and discussed his famed secret family recipe for smoked hams. After Larry made the crowd salivate with his delectable stories, Bill and the Belles sang an ode to the delicious cut. “Ham Ham, Thank You Ham” was a celebration of the wonders of barbecue ham, stating “If you don’t know about ham, than you never were a man that ever ate real BBQ. “ As some might say: “Them’s fightin’ words” – but don’t worry, no one was harmed in the process of singing this hammy jingle!

Bill and the Belles hamming it up on stage; Larry Proffitt of regional favorite Ridgewood Barbecue shares some tasty memories. © Birthplace of Country Music, photographer: Billie Wheeler

Last week’s show was a definite change from the acoustic roots music typically showcased at Farm and Fun Time. Indeed, things were bound to get pretty rocking by swapping out the usual fiddles, mandolins, and guitars with drum sets, Telecasters and vintage amps – and sure enough they did. The raucous rockabilly and country western group The Royal Hounds from Nashville kicked things off, playing a number of rousing songs including the standout “Elvis is Haunting My Bathroom.” By the end of the set, front man Scott Hinds was perched atop his upright bass howling at the moon as the crowd watched in awe…or something like that. All kidding aside, The Royal Hounds certainly entertained our live studio audience!

Scott Hinds performing quite a balancing act! © Birthplace of Country Music, photographer: Billie Wheeler

Next, we took a visit down to the farm for our monthly segment of “The ASD Farm Report.” This month we visited Piney Flats, Tennessee, for a tour of King’s Dairy. Father and son Steve and John King, 7th- and 8th-generation dairy farmers, told us about the history and people who have made King’s Dairy a Tennessee staple. In 2010 King’s received a governor’s award for conservation, and as Steve notes, reflecting the farm’s other green practices and recognitions: “Conservation has been born and bred in me.” The time and care that goes into producing King’s milk really makes them stand apart as you’ll see in the profile video below. In “ASD Farm Report” tradition, Corbin Hayslett followed the profile piece with a short “moooo”-ving poem; after this, I joined him on stage to sing a little bit about milking heifers. The tune chosen – “Old Bell Cow” – was learned from a relatively obscure side recorded by the Dixie Crackers in 1929 on the Paramount label.

Our next musical guest Lillie Mae came to the Farm and Fun Time stage with a band comprised of a number of her talented siblings. Her recent release “Forever and Then Some” on Third Man Records has been gaining attention and accolades nationally, and it was a thrill to have her included on the bill. Lillie Mae’s sound is very distinctive and her performance very engaging, unlike anything we’ve heard before…and we loved it! If you missed Lillie Mae this month, you’ll get another chance to catch her at this year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in September.

Lillie Mae sharing a smile during her set for Farm and Fun Time. © Birthplace of Country Music, photographer: Billie Wheeler

Farm and Fun Time always has a few surprises, and this month was no different. We were thrilled to have The Old Time Country Roadshow close out the evening. The Roadshow took us out with a nice rendition of “Sand Mountain Blues,” the popular Delmore Brothers number. Radio Bristol’s own Martha Spencer, honky tonker Luke Bell, and old-time legend Matt Kinman, aka “The Little Hobo,” make up The Roadshow. Quite a diverse group to say the least. With her incredible flatfooting, Martha shimmied and shook to the end of another fantastic Farm and Fun Time.

Martha Spencer, Luke Bell, and Matt Kinman coming together to create a sweet sound. © Birthplace of Country Music, photographer: Billie Wheeler

Next month we’re taking the show on the road! You can tune in to the live broadcast of Farm and Fun Time at Grey Fox in New York featuring Rhythm & Roots alumni Michael Daves and Tony Trischka Band, the Mammals, and a few big surprises – tune in July 15 at 6pm EST.  And on August 10 we’ve got North Carolina bluegrass band Town Mountain and Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys joining us right here at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Kris Truelsen is the Producer at Radio Bristol and a member of Farm and Fun Time house band Bill and the Belles.

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