I had a migraine most of last weekend so I didn’t make it out to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th as much as I wanted, but I did make it out to the Blue Ridge Music Center Saturday evening for the big show. I wish we could have gone to Cumberland Knob, but I wasn’t up to it.
While Chris walked around getting photos for work, I checked out the booths and listened to some of the old time music.
Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee demonstration traditional dances and songs (along with a few volunteers from the audience).
On the stage, we heard presentation by local officials, Cherokee dances and songs and more old time music.
The main attraction of the evening of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Stanley is a legend and I was bound and determined to see him perform. So, we did.
Here’s Stanley signing autographs way before the concert. That’s his grandson, Nathan, on his right. I had no idea Chris took this photo until I just went through them today.
The band opened up with “Man of Constant Sorrow” and ended on “I’ll Fly Away” (Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch version). They entertained us for over an hour with some familiar tunes and other stuff I didn’t recognize.
At one point, there were three Stanley generations on the stage — Ralph, son Ralph II and grandson Nathan.
Ralph Stanley mostly sang during the evening but did take up the banjo for one song. That was pretty cool.
Here’s some more photos from the event:
The audience got some flat footing lessons, thanks to Phil Jamison, before the main concert began.
The Buck Mountain Band provided the music for the flat footing lessons. My former editor, Amy, is playing the banjo. Hi, Amy!
The Round Peak Boys kicked off the evening concert.
Several classic cars cruised down the Parkway to the music center. The goal was to have 75 cars participate, but I don’t know if that many arrived at the center.
Area elementary schools in North Carolina and Virginia created birthday cards for the Parkway. The one in the upper right is my favorite: “I can’t believe you were open seventy five (sic) years. If I worked thier (sic) I would be exausted (sic),” written by Loxi, a third grader at a Virginia elementary.