It’s 1986, and Delia Bell & Bill Grant Are Live in Studio A


I long remembered there was a time when Delia Bell and Bill Grant had played live on Hillbilly at Harvard. I was entranced by Bill’s performance of Merle Haggard’s “I’ll Break Out Again Tonight,” so much so that I had copied it from an aircheck onto a cassette and played it a few times on the show. But the cassette disappeared, and the tapes I had of some 1980s shows were buried in boxes in an upstairs closet.

However, the long Exile from WHRB’s studios and the need to add some variety to the prerecorded Generic Hours I’ve been recycling for the past nine months has led me to those boxes. Not every show got recorded, and not all are free enough from long-distance FM noise to be airable, but some are, happily including the one I discovered with Bill and Delia.

They were here on March 15, 1986, opening for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys in a BBU show at Paine Hall (Harvard’s Music Department). Their association with Rounder Records doubtless helped get them to Cambridge all the way from Oklahoma. Their album pictured here, A Few Dollars More (1985), was their second for Rounder.

So tune in this Saturday (June 12th) and enjoy the usual folderol and high jinks of the Hillbilly show thirty-some years ago, with me, Old Sinc, Lincoln, and others. There’s an unusual Identify The Artist contest that you’ll appreciate, and some trivia from Sinc’s photographic memory, which of course I immediately forgot back then.

There are lots of Country Calendar announcements. Just remember, as I warn listeners, that they were for events three decades ago, so don’t scramble for your going-out duds and head for the car. Some venues are still around (e.g. Nightstage in Cambridge), and some are starting to open up as the ’emergency’ restrictions have lifted. But too many of the artists then have left us, including Bill and Delia. Fortunately, we have recordings, even old radio shows! /CL

This entry was posted in Administrivia, Archival Productions, Bluegrass, Hillbilly History, Hillbilly Journal, Radio Talk and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s 1986, and Delia Bell & Bill Grant Are Live in Studio A

  1. Clinton _Street_Matters says:

    Good to hear, CL! You guys were pretty much a hoot to listen to, and this’ll be a Memory Lane type of thing.



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