ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD
The Boston Bluegrass Union was celebrating its 25th Anniversary, and for the occasion was hosting a concert at the (then named) Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, with a group they called the Southern All-Stars. And ‘all-stars’ they were: James King, Dudley Connell, and Don Rigsby singing (guitars and Don on mandolin), Sammy Shelor on banjo, Gene Libea on bass, and (substituting for scheduled Aubrie Haynie, who couldn’t make it), Bobby Hicks on fiddle. The three singers made it into WHRB, for a live performance in sumptuous Studio B, with Old Sinc hosting. It was January 20th, 2001.
We’ve had a lot of great musicians live on the Hillbilly show, but I can’t think of a more memorable occasion than getting these three together in the studio. James King had recorded his Bed by the Window album for Rounder a year or so before. Dudley Connell and Don Rigsby had recorded a duet album, Meet Me By the Moonlight for Sugar Hill; they play a song from that album today. James of course sadly died in 2016, but Dudley and Don are still with us and making great music, Dudley with The Seldom Scene, and Don with The Lonesome River Band and others.
As I remind folks in the closing announcement: Remember that this show occurred in 2001. I leave in the Country Calendar for the color and the memories. The BBU 25th anniversary was in 2001, as was the 16th Annual Joe Val Festival, which Old Sinc promoted in some detail. There was of course no Joe Val Festival last year in 2021, and I’m sad to report there will not be one in 2022, either. Not only has this ridiculous virus put a damper on all activities, but the Sheraton in Framingham was sold, and the BBU reports that it is uncertain whether the new owners will host the Joe Val Festival again.
On a happier note, we do have some of these old Hillbilly shows on tape, and I’m glad to be able to resurrect some of them, at least in part (half, anyway), for your listening pleasure on a Saturday morning. Tune in tomorrow at 9 AM Eastern sharp. In the meantime, below are James, Dudley, and Don at Gettysburg in 2014. /CL