Falling for Farm and Fun Time: Family Stories, Brother Boys, and John McEuen on Stage

After a brief hiatus from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Performance Theater, Farm and Fun Time was back with another sellout crowd on November 9! 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 who tuned in to WBCM-LP, but to viewers far and wide via Facebook Live. Be sure to like WBCM – Radio Bristol on Facebook to tune in every month!

Bill and the Belles performing at November's Farm and Fun Time show.

Two of the Belles sing in harmony. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For the November show, Farm and Fun Time got underway as usual with some opening selections from host band Bill and the Belles. Following these finely crooned tunes, Robert Gipe took the stage for the first portion of the program: the “Heirloom Recipe” segment. Gipe is the director of the Appalachian program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, a producer of the Higher Ground community drama series in Harlan, Kentucky, and the critically acclaimed author of the illustrated novel Trampoline. As Gipe talked about his childhood days in Kingsport, Tennessee, he shared the important role that cheese played in his family’s diet, especially pimento cheese and mac and cheese. Though his story was a touching tribute to his mother and her love for these cheesy concoctions, Gipe still managed to have the crowd rolling in the aisles. Keeping the laughs rolling, Bill and the Belles performed “A Boy Named Cheesy,” the hilariously tragic tale of a boy who eats entirely too much cheese. (Is that even possible?!)

Robert Gipe shares stories of food and family with a laughing audience at November's Farm and Fun Time show.

Robert Gipe shares stories of food and family with his appreciative audience. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Following this great segment, our first musical guests of the evening were the Brother Boys. Drawing heavily from the early country music tradition of brother duets and adding splashes of pop and soul, front men Ed Snodderly and Eugene Wolfe had our audience grooving along throughout their entire set. From country classics like Marty Robbins’s “Singin’ the Blues” to Snodderly’s original “Record Shop,” the Brother Boys set was a crowd-pleaser that featured something for everyone. A special portion of the show was set aside for an excerpt of Wolfe’s new one-man show, “The Book of Mamaw,” soon to be featured here at the museum in partnership with Arts Alliance Mountain Empire. Telling stories of his childhood spent with grandparents in Greeneville, Tennessee, Wolfe’s storytelling captivated the crowd and was a nice addition to this fantastic set of music.

Eugene Wolf and Ed Snodderly of the Brother Boys performing at November's Farm and Fun Time show.

Eugene Wolf and Ed Snodderly make the perfect duo as the Brother Boys. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For our “ASD Farm Report,” Radio Bristol visited Myers Pumpkin Patch in Bull’s Gap, Tennessee. A third-generation farm, Myers transitioned from being a dairy and tobacco farm to one focused on educational field trips. Though field pumpkins and Indian corn are a major part of their business, the Myers work year-round on a wide variety of crops. Check out this video from our trip:

Our last guest of the evening was none other than John McEuen. A founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John worked on the classic Will the Circle Be Unbroken – a pioneering album that brought together country legends from Mother Maybelle Carter to the King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin. A giant in the country music field, it was an honor to have McEuen on Farm and Fun Time. Accompanied by Matt Cartsonis, McEuen closed our show out with a diverse selection of songs, including some from his new album “Made in Brooklyn” and bluegrass classics. Even the Belles joined him for a few tunes in this fun-filled set of music – definitely a thrill for the band!

John McEuen performing at November's Farm and Fun Time show; seen here playing his banjo.

John McEuen brought something special to November’s Farm and Fun Time show. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Though our Farm and Fun Time Christmas Ball featuring Jill Andrews, The Secret Sisters, and host band Bill and the Belles is sold out in December, be sure to join us Saturday, December 2 at 7pm EST via Facebook Live! Tickets are already on sale for our January 11 show featuring Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny and Flatt Lonesome and our February 8 show featuring Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer and Willie Watson. For more information and to purchase tickets, for these events, visit www.listenradiobristol.org.

Nathan Sykes is Assistant Producer at Radio Bristol — have a listen to hear him on air!

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