VOICE OF THE BLUE RIDGE
featuring musical hosts Travis Frye and Blue Mountain
Bluegrass and Old-Time Music take center stage at the Historic Earle Theatre as the Surry Arts Council presents "The Voice of the Blue Ridge." Local and regional bands present our local music heritage. Group tours are welcome.
Tickets are $7 or free with current SAC Season Pass
Tickets sold at the Historic Earle Theatre Box Office on the evening of the show. Group orders or Bus Tours can make arrangements by calling SAC at 336.786.7998 during regular business hours.
Purchase a SAC Season Pass for only $110 and attend all Voice of the Blue Ridge shows and over 100 other Surry Arts Council 2016-17 performances. Available by calling SAC at 336.786.7998
Watch WUNC-TV production of Folkways hosted by David Holt and learn more about Old-Time Music and its start in Surry County, NC.
A Tribute to Ralph Epperson
WPAQ 740 AM
On Groundhog Day, 1948, the people of Mount Airy tuned their radios to 740 on the AM dial and heard the first radio station they could call their own. WPAQ was the brainchild of Ralph Epperson, an Ararat, Virginia native who had been fascinated by radio since his early teens. In his application to the Federal Communications Commission, Ralph pledged to reflect the cultural and musical values of the people in his station's listening area. He promised he would provide a showcase for local talent at his station. That promise has never been broken. The weekly Merry-Go-Round, the third longest running live radio broadcast in the nation, was created as a spotlight to promote area musicians. Many of those have become traditional music icons Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and Mac Wiseman to name a few.
Today the Merry-Go-Round continues to host the stars of tomorrow drawn from right here in the Blue Ridge. The Merry-Go-Round returned to its roots in Downtown, Mount Airy in 1998 on its 50th Anniversary. It is broadcast from the Earle Theatre (142 Main Street) from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each Saturday. Join them for the live broadcast and experience the Merry-Go-Round in person ($5 admission at the door or $20 Annual Pass) or tune your Radio to WPAQ AM 740 or online at www.wpaq740.com.
What's the difference between Old Time and Bluegrass Music?
Open back banjo
Banjo style is clawhammer
Old Time is mainly upbeat instrumental dance music where the fiddle is the boss
No lead instrument; instruments play solo "breaks" between verses
"Celebration of Pain"
Banjo with resonator
Banjo played with finger picks in a three-finger style developed by Earl Scruggs
Bluegrass is a vocal style where the instruments freely improvise and the singer takes the lead