Country Music from Far and Wide on Farm and Fun Time - Birthplace of Country Music

Country Music from Far and Wide on Farm and Fun Time

Farm and Fun Time was back again on August 9 with another exciting installment! This month’s show featured music that connects our Appalachian musical heritage with country music in other parts of the United States and beyond! Thanks to our sponsor Eastman Credit Union, Radio Bristol was able to bring Farm and Fun Time not only to those in the audience or tuned in to WBCM-LP, but to viewers via Facebook Live. Be sure to like WBCM – Radio Bristol on Facebook to tune in every month!

Host band Bill and the Belles kicked the show off with a set of heartwarming songs, including “Pal of Mine” and “Moonlight, Shadows, and You.” Be sure to check out their new record “Dreamsongs, ETC” out on August 24 on Jalopy Records! Our “Heirloom Recipe” presenter this month was Bristol entrepreneur and former ice cream truck driver Karen Hester. Karen shared her fond memories of making homemade ice cream in a hand-cranked churn. Though she doesn’t use the old, labor-intensive method at her ice cream parlor and candy shop The Southern Churn today, the fond memories of making ice cream the old-fashioned way inspires the delicious frozen treats served there. Lamenting the intense labor that goes into making a small batch of homemade ice cream, Bill and the Belles crooned those “Cranky Old Ice Cream Blues.”

Left pic shows Bill and the Belles on stage with a full audience in front of them; right pic shows Karen Hester in front of the microphone, cranking an old-fashioned ice cream maker.

Bill and the Belles get the packed house ready for a great show, while Karen Hester of The Southern Churn demonstrates the hard work that goes into hand-cranked, homemade ice cream. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Our first featured musical guests were Jesse Lége and the Old Fashioned Aces. For the first time, a traditional Cajun band took the stage at Farm and Fun Time, and it blew the audience away! Honing his craft for over 50 years in the dance halls of Cajun Country and beyond, Jesse Lége is a living American roots music legend. Accompanied by the Old Fashioned Aces, Blake and Amelia Miller, Lége presented some of the most authentic Cajun music you could hear anywhere. From one steps and two steps to waltzes and Cajun country classics from the catalog of D. L. Menard, this set transported the audience from the Birthplace of Country Music to a Louisiana dance hall, receiving a well-deserved standing ovation at the end.

Left pic: Close up of Blake Miller on fiddle; top right pic: the full group of Jesse Lege and the Old Fashioned Aces playing together; bottom right: a close up of Lege's accordion.

Jesse Lége and the Old Fashioned Aces wowed the Farm and Fun Time crowd, and it was great to see such talented musicians at their best. For the eagle-eyed in the audience, Lége’s small accordion bore the image of a crawdad when closed up – a nice Louisiana touch! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For this month’s “ASD Farm Report” segement, we visited Hope Farms in Greene County, Tennessee. What says summer more than a fresh heirloom tomato – eaten fresh and still warm out of the garden, layered in a hot and cheesy tomato pie, or that old Southern favorite of a tomato sandwich? Not much, and Steve Mallory and Hope Farms can get you your heirloom tomato fix. Here’s a video from our visit:

The name Farm and Fun Time and bluegrass music have been connected since the radio show’s 1946 debut, and it’s a show that has always been filled with innovative and wonderful music. And so we were honored to host the Buenos Ares, Argentina-based Che Apalache at the August Farm and Fun Time. With members hailing from Mexio, Argentina, and the United States, Che Apalache blends the sounds of Latin America with American bluegrass music, creating a high-energy style that is distinctly their own. Led by North Carolina-born fiddler Joe Troop, the night’s performance consisted of everything from Latin rhythms to a capella songs sung in traditional four-part harmony. This compelling set showcased the power of cultural exchange, proving that musical is an international language.

Left pic: All four members of Che Apalache playing on stage; right pic: close up of the band's banjo player.

Che Apalache brought the Latin sound to bluegrass on the Farm and Fun Time stage, a wonderful combination! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Thanks to everyone who came out and made this a wonderful evening of fun and music! We’ll be presenting a special Farm and Fun Time at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion on Saturday, September 22! And tickets for October’s Farm and Fun Time featuring The Quebe Sisters and The Barefoot Movement are going fast, so get yours today!

Production Assistant at Radio Bristol

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