In 1972 there wasn’t one minute of Bluegrass or traditional Appalachian music on radio in Knoxville, one of the east Tennessee places where Appalachian music was transformed into country music. As a Univ. of Tenn faculty member interested in preserving the music and culture of the area where I lived, I talked WUOT, the University public radio station, into allowing me to begin a weekly radio show. The program Music of the Southern Mountains used Ralph Stanley’s “pick along” as its theme song because Ralph’s clawhammer banjo merged with the string band music that has become known as bluegrass, best represented the old and new music which was to be the focus of the show. My interest had also led to early involvement with Jubilee Community Arts, an organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Appalachian culture. A companion program sponsored by JCA, Live at Laurel was added to the WUOT schedule and for 30 years until the birth of WDVX these were the only traditional music voices in the Knoxville area. In 1999 the two shows were merged into the show Mt. Jubilee. The theme for this show is “Citico” by the Fletcher Bright Fiddle Band. In January 2004 as the result of an agreement between WUOT and WDVX, Mountain Jubilee began to be rebroadcast on WDVX as the opening program of the Sunday Jubilee series. The show is also rebroadcast on WDCV in Carlisle PA. The Sunday Jubilee series here on WDVX now includes a new version of the Live at Laurel show.
Research Professor and Director
The University of Tennessee
College of Social Work