Southeast Community Fire Department's 12th Annual
McReynolds Memorial
Bluegrass Music Spectacular
Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005 - Gallatin, TN

A Fund Raiser and Benefit Concert for Bluegrass Dobro Great

A Note of Thanks From Jesse McReynolds
            We started doing this benefit show 12 years ago for my son, Keith McReynolds, who was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis. Keith passed away in 2000, and since then, we decided to continue the show to help others in need.
            I want to say thanks for everyone's support every year. This year, we did the show for a great entertainer, Josh Graves.
            We do this show in memory of Keith, and in memory of my brother, Jim McReynolds, who passed away December 31, 2002. We were blessed with 55 years singing together.
            I'm still carrying on with the band (the Virginia Boys), and working the Grand Ole Opry when I'm not traveling on the road.
            This benefit is held every year on the first Thursday of February.


Jessie McReynolds
            Jesse McReynolds has been a member of the WSM Grand Ole Opry since 1964 and has recorded more than 50 albums and CD's with his brother Jim. Widely recognized as "Mr. Mandolin," this multi-instrumental legend is perhaps best noted for his innovative "McReynolds style" of mandolin "cross-picking" and "split-string" style of playing. With over 200 of his own original songs in his arsenal of show material, such as "Dixie Hoe-Down", "Drifting and Dreaming", "Hard Hearted", "Just wondering Why", "Border Ride", "Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset", among many others plus often requested popular country, gospel and bluegrass classics, there is no limit to the type of show he is capable of performing.
            In 1997, The McReynolds earned the National Endowment for the Arts prestigious National Heritage Fellowship Award in recognition for their contribution to American music. The International Bluegrass Music Association inducted the brothers into their "Hall of Honor" in 1993. Jim & Jesse received a Grammy nomination for their 1992 joint effort "Music Among Friends", while Jesse individually has received four Grammy nominations for recordings with other artists, namely "Best Country Instrumental Recording" in 1979 with Vassar Clements and others, "Instrumental Recording of the Year" in 1990 with Kenny Baker, Eddie Adcock and Josh Graves, and with "Mandolin Extravaganza" notably receiving double honors in 2000 from the IBMA for "Best Instrumental Recording" and "Special Recorded Event" of the Year for his contribution to the David Grisman/Ronnie McCoury project. Jesse has recorded with many other artists, including a memorable session with "The Doors" on their "Soft Parade" LP. He has performed in many other countries throughout Europe, Japan and a State Department sponsored tour of Africa.
            Since the passing of his brother Jim in December 2002, Jesse continues to perform on the Grand Ole Opry and carry on the tradition of the Jim & Jesse sound that they did together for over 50 years. With Jesse's open and appreciative regard for all music, every show holds it's own surprises. With his band "The Virginia Boys," which includes, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitar and acoustic bass, they travel throughout the United States and Canada, playing concerts and bluegrass festivals.
            The clean, wholesome music that originated in the mountains of southwest Virginia back in 1947 from this unique and versatile first generation music legend continues to be in great demand today.

Bobby Osborne
            Bobby and Sonny Osborne were born in southeastern Kentucky in the coal mining town of Hayden, located in Leslie County. Just across the river from their birthplace is the site of their Hometown Bluegrass Festival, held annually the first weekend of August. In 1941, the family moved to Dayton, Ohio.
            November 6, 1953 - The Osborne Brothers made their performing debut on WROL radio station in Knoxville, Tennessee. Members of that first band were: Bobby, Sonny, Enos Johnson (guitar), and L.E. White (fiddle). Later, Joe Stuart, Ray Crisp, and Old Kentucky Slim worked in this band. The Osborne Brothers moved back to Ohio in June of 1954.
            September, 1955 - The Osborne Brothers went ot Wheeling, WV, and became part of the Charlie Bailey show. This was their first time to be heard over WWVA in Wheeling.
            April, 1956 - Bob, Sonny, and Red Allen recorded and released their first record for MGM. That first release was also the first song Bobby sang as a youngster on WPFB in Middletown, OH, on his first radio appearance. "Ruby, Are You Mad" was also the song they first sang as members of the Grand Ole Opry some eight years and three months later. Red Allen left the group in June of 1958. The Osborne Brothers remained at WWVA until 1963.
            On July 31,1964, the Osborne Brothers joined the WSM Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee. The Osborne Brothers have had more national chart records than any other bluegrass band in history. "Rocky Top" is second only to "Foggy Mountain Background" as being the most programmed bluegrass song in history. "Rocky Top" is the most recorded bluegrass song in history.

Kenny Baker
            Kenny Baker refined the rugged bluegrass fiddle style during his twenty-two year stint with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. Today, he is one of the most emulated fiddlers of all time. This Eastern Kentucky coal miner's playing is colored by the influence of Stephanie Grappelli's smooth jazz. Baker utilized the "long-bow" technique, resulting in a very polished and connected sound, as opposed to the short and choppy 'Georgia shuffle' which predominated early bluegrass fiddling. Baker was also heavily affected by the use of three fiddles in Bob Wills' recordings and developed a knack for playing with rich double stops as a result. Baker fiddled on the definitive recording of such landmark bluegrass instrumentals as "Jerusalem Ridge" and "Salt Creek." He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Hall of Honor in 1999.
            Kenny Baker, best known as the long-time fiddler for Bill Monroe, is considered to be the most influential fiddle player in modern times. His solo albums for the independent County label have had a huge impact on contest and Bluegrass fiddling. He has introduced dozens of tunes into modern fiddling and his complex style has influenced three generations.
            Kenny's father and grandfather were traditional fiddlers and by the time he was 8, he was trying to play the fiddle, soon becoming discouraged by his father's critical comments. He switched to guitar and played that until he joined the Navy at age 16, where he took up the fiddle again. After his discharge, he went to work as a coal loader and played for local dances.
            About 1953, Kenny got a job offer playing with singer Don Gibson at WNOX Knoxville. Gibson and other musicians encouraged his interest in Jazz fiddle and Baker stayed with the band for four years. During his time in Knoxville, Kenny had been approached by Bluegrass star Bill Monroe about joining the Blue Grass Boys. When Gibson moved to Nashville, Kenny decided to try Bluegrass, making his recording debut with the band in 1957.
            Unfortunately, the late 1950's were lean times for Bluegrass and Kenny left the band twice to go back to work in the mines. Around 1967, he joined Monroe again, this time for a much longer stay.
            In the 1980's Kenny left Monroe again, spending most of his time working on his farm. He also did tours with an all-star group called the Masters and worked with Josh Graves. In the 1990's, he performed on a series of tours sponsored by the National Council on Traditional Arts.
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LeRoy Troy
            National Old-Time Banjo Champion, Leroy Troy, has been playing music since the age of twelve. Leroy Troy doesn't just play music, he exudes the very essence of a grand old tradition of showmanship dating back to the early half of the 20th century, epitomized by one of his idols, Uncle Dave Macon. Rest assured, however, Leroy Troy is no Dave clone, nor is he merely a disciple of the style taught to him by his friend, Macon contemporary Cordell Kemp. Leroy is truly an original, exuberant yet modest, freewheeling yet contemplative. While audiences are easily caught up in the spectacle that is Leroy Troy very few (including the artist himself) can explain it. They can, however, appreciate the mastery with which he handles his banjo, the instrument that has become synonymous with Leroy Troy.
            Leroy Troy's legion of devoted fans here in the U.S. and abroad, clamor for a long-form video performance. The Banjo Newsletter, profiling him in November 1994, explains the demand, "You can hear him on a recording, but you've got to see him to really understand!" As Leroy Troy might tell you himself, he is something to be seen!

Luke McKnight
            Luke McKnight's musical roots can be traced back five generations to his great-great grandfather, Charles McReynolds, who recorded on the historic Bristol Sessions for RCA in 1927. Luke is the grandson of Jesse McReynolds of the world renowned country/bluegrass duo Jim and Jesse.
            Luke's interest in music began at age 8 when Jesse gave him his first mandolin, a Flatiron A style. Luke learned quickly and was soon performing with Jim & Jesse at various public appearances. At age fourteen, at a concert in Clay City, KY, Luke asked permission to sing lead on one song, "Dream of Me." This was the beginning of Luke's career as a professional entertainer.
            Luke has performed on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry many times with Jim and Jesse and has been allowed to perform "solo" when Jim & Jesse were not able to be there. He has also performed on Bluegrass Night at the Ryman, Grand Ole Opry Night at the Ryman, West Point Academy, and the George Washington University. He has traveled and performed in the United State, the Bahamas, Canada, and Israel. His TV appearances include Grand Ole Opry Live, Prime Time Country, and Grand Ole Opry Backstage. He has been featured in numerous newspaper articles as well as magazines "Bluegrass Unlimited" and "Bluegrass Now."
            Luke's first solo recording, "Supergrass 2000" was released in the fall of 1999. While he appreciated the many words fo encouragement he receives from artist at the Grand Ole Opry and all around the country, he will always be indebted to his grandfather, Jesse, and his great-uncle, Jim for giving him the opportunity to do what he loves the most. He will never forget the roots from which he came.

Tim Graves & Cherokee
            At the tender age of 14, Tim Graves took the stage for the first time playing dobro for an East Tennessee band called "Cedar Run." After honing his skills for the next three years and having appeared on three recordings, Tim decided it was time to move on. He immediately accepted the responsibilities of dobro player for "Bobby Smith and the Boys from Shiloh." Then in 1981 Tim and his longtime friend, Bennie Boling, formed "Cherokee" and launched their talents at the 1982 "World's Fair" in Knoxville, TN. There they would be awarded the prestigious title of "Official World's Fair Bluegrass Band." By the mid 1980's Tim decided to move and became a vital member of "James Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers."
            By now, Tim's name was becoming synonymous with the work Dobro in and around Nashville. It was at this time that those same talents would land him a weekly spot on the Grand Ole Opry as he began work with Opry star Wilma Lee Cooper. All during this time, Tim continually felt the calling to team back up with longtime friend, Bennie Boling, to rekindle the musical flame that Cherokee once had. This time it would be called Tim Graves and Cherokee. Under that name they would record nine projects with several leading record labels. From 2001 until 2003 Tim Graves has been the full time Dobro player for Bluegrass legends and Grand Ole Opry stars, "The Osborne Brothers."
            After a two year absence from the fans, in 2004 Tim Graves and Cherokee, returned to continue their career as one of the leading acts in Bluegrass music. The band consists of Tim Graves: Dobro and lead vocal, Bennie Boling: Bass and vocals, Duane Bowlin: Banjo and baritone vocals, Dickie Nugent: Guitar and tenor vocals, and Tim Laughlin: Madolin and Fiddle.
            Tim Graves has been awarded SPBGMA's 2004 Dobro Player of the Year. This is one of the best Bluegrass groups in the country today. When you watch this group, you will be seeing experience at work.

Gallatin's own Diane Chopay, "The Autograph Lady". She has several more outfits like this one.

Photos: Bonnie Tankersley

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