(0:44:54; 31MB; S 1576; tapes C98-107 - C98-108)
In this month’s podcast we feature a live performance by bluegrass pioneers with their own Florida connection. Recorded on May 23, 1998 by the Florida Folklife Program at the 1998 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, Florida
When people think of bluegrass, they may picture the backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains or perhaps Virginia, Kentucky or The Carolinas. Few realize that the Sunshine state played a role in the development of bluegrass as well. From Chubby Wise to Vassar Clements to the Orange Blossom Special, Florida has enjoyed top billing in bluegrass music. In this month’s podcast we feature a live performance by bluegrass pioneers with their own Florida connection.
When Jim and Jesse McReynolds played the 1998 Florida Folk Festival, it was something of a homecoming. Jim and Jesse were brothers from Virginia who began performing in 1945 with their band, the Virginia Boys, which included for a while Florida’s famed fiddler Vassar Clements. In the late 1950s, the popular duo starred on the Suwannee River Jamboree, a weekly country music program broadcast from Live Oak on WNER. They left the Jamboree to join the ranks of the Grand Ole Opry where they entertained audiences for three decades.
This podcast features a cassette recording of the duo playing the Florida Folk Festival’s Old Marble Stage on May 28, 1998. By this time, Jim and Jesse had been playing music for over fifty years, but as this intimate recording makes clear, they retained every bit of their energy and enthusiasm.
So kick back and enjoy a Florida bluegrass homecoming with Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys.