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The places of Nashville's Country Music scene.

Fan Fair 1978 - Family Reunion Show

COVID-19 canceled CMA Fest 2020, but that doesn't mean we can't bring you some country music history from the NPT archives. Take a trip back to the early days of Nashville's biggest country music festival, when it was known only as Fan Fair. Kick your feet up at home and enjoy these classic performances from WDCN's 1978 production, Family Reunion Show.

+ Transcript

- [Narrator] Each June, country music lovers by the thousands, flock to Nashville for the annual Fan Fair. For most, it's a chance to see and meet the stars of country music. But for a few, it's a chance to renew old friendships, to turn back the clock. These are more than fans, they're songwriters, singers and musicians, the stars of the great old radio programs like the Wheeling Jamboree, the National Barn Dance, the Louisiana Hayride and Nashville's own Grand Ole Opry. They rode the range with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry with a six-gun in one hand and a guitar in the other. They've come back to Nashville to be a part of the Fan Fair celebration. For a week, they visited with fans, signed autographs and had a lot of fun. Now it's time to take their fiddles down off the wall, tune up and walk out on the stage for the Country Music Association's^ Family Reunion Show. Leading things off is the band that invented Western Swing, Bob Wills, Texas Playboys. - [Man] Here was our biggest hit, 1941, San Antonio Rose. ♪ Deep within my heart lies a melody ♪ ♪ A song of old San Antone ♪ ♪ Where in dreams I live with a memory ♪ ♪ Beneath the stars all alone ♪ ♪ It was there I found beside the Alamo ♪ ♪ Enchantment strange as the blue up above ♪ ♪ A moonlit pass that only she would know ♪ ♪ Still hears my broken song of love ♪ ♪ Moon in all your splendor know only my heart ♪ ♪ Call back my rose, rose of San Antone ♪ ♪ Lips so sweet and tender like petals falling apart ♪ ♪ Speak once again of my love, my own ♪ ♪ Broken song, empty words I know ♪ ♪ Still live in my heart all alone ♪ ♪ But that moonlit pass by the Alamo ♪ ♪ And Rose, my Rose of San Antone ♪ - [Narrator] There were many singing cowboys but Patsy Montana starred on the National Barn Dance as a singing cowgirl. Backed by The Prairie Ramblers, she was the first woman in country music to have a million selling record with her 1935 recording of I Want To Be A Cowboys Sweetheart. ♪ I want to be a cowboy's sweetheart ♪ ♪ I want to learn to rope and to ride ♪ ♪ I want to ride o'er the plains and the desert ♪ ♪ Out west of the great divide ♪ ♪ I want to hear the coyotes howlin' ♪ ♪ While the sun sets in the West ♪ ♪ I want to be a cowboy's sweetheart ♪ ♪ The life that I love best ♪ Now a little western swing. ♪ I want to ride Old Paint, goin' at a run ♪ ♪ I wanna feel the wind in my face ♪ ♪ A thousand miles from all these lights ♪ ♪ Goin' a cowhand's pace ♪ ♪ I want to pillow my head near the sleeping herd ♪ ♪ While the moon shines down from above ♪ ♪ I want to strum my guitar and odo-lay-eee-hee ♪ ♪ Oh, that's the life that I love ♪ - [Narrator] The Crook Brothers, Lewis and Herman, first appeared on WSM Radio in 1925. A fixture on the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years. Here to perform the classic Lost John, here's Herman Crook. - [Narrator] Starting on WLS in Chicago, Bradley Kincaid appeared on nearly every major Barn Dance program, during the '20s and '30s. Billed as the Kentucky mountain boy, he collected and recorded authentic mountain ballads. One of the pioneers of country music Bradley Kincaid. ♪ And a great big Methodist pie ♪ ♪ Oh, little children I believe ♪ ♪ Oh, little children I believe ♪ ♪ Oh, little children I believe ♪ ♪ I'm a Methodist till I die ♪ ♪ I'm a Methodist, Methodist 'tis my belief ♪ ♪ Methodist till I die ♪ ♪ When old grim death comes a knockin' at the door ♪ ♪ I'm a Methodist till I die ♪ - [Narrator] With his brother Joe, Bill Callahan began performing in 1923. Later appearing on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and the Louisiana Hayride. A 50 year veteran, Bill Callahan. ♪ Now you can blow your whistle ♪ ♪ Mamma you can toot your horn ♪ ♪ You can blow your whistle ♪ ♪ Mamma you can toot your horn ♪ ♪ You gonna wake up some morning ♪ ♪ And find your daddy gone ♪ - [Narrator] John Lair's Renfro Valley Barn Dance was the home of many country singers. Remembering Renfro Valley are Buddy Bain, Virginia Sutton Bray and the Renfro Valley Folks. ♪ And the dark wood blossoms blow ♪ ♪ I'll be there in Renfro Valley ♪ ♪ As in days of long ago ♪ - [Narrator] Country music is known for some good guitar picking. And one of the best is the man who taught Merle Travis and Ike Everly, Mose Rager. - [Narrator] Recording artist, Disc Jockey and long time member of the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree is Lee Moore. ♪ If anyone should ask you who composed this song ♪ ♪ Say Lee Moore and we sing it all day long ♪ ♪ Everybody now ♪ ♪ Takes a worried man to sing a worried song ♪ ♪ It takes a worried man to sing a worried song ♪ ♪ It takes a worried man to sing a worried song ♪ ♪ I'm worried now but I won't be worried long ♪ - [Narrator] Ann Jones & Her Western Sweethearts represent a unique part of country music, the all girl band. ♪ Gonna build myself some castles ♪ ♪ Gonna set myself a goal ♪ ♪ I'm gonna give it all I've got to give ♪ ♪ I'm gonna throw away my crutches ♪ ♪ Gonna stand on my own two feet ♪ ♪ I'm gonna put it together my own way and live ♪ ♪ Not gonna ask no one for nothin' ♪ ♪ Gonna take what I can take ♪ ♪ You're not gonna find me spending my time alone ♪ ♪ I'm not gonna blame nobody ♪ ♪ For any mistakes I've made ♪ ♪ From now on they're gonna be my own ♪ - [Narrator] A recording artist and songwriter, Pete Pyle has had songs recorded by George Jones, Porter Wagner and Willie Nelson. For the reunion, he sings Loving Lies. ♪ I'll never understand, dear ♪ ♪ As long as I live ♪ ♪ I guess I will always wonder why ♪ ♪ You told me that you loved me ♪ ♪ With all of your heart ♪ ♪ And then without a warning ♪ ♪ Said goodbye ♪ - [Narrator] One of the best known of the country music radio shows was the National Barn Dance from Chicago. A star of the Barn Dance, for over 30 years was Dolph Hewitt. ♪ Jealous heart oh jealous heart stop beating ♪ ♪ Can't you see the damage you have done ♪ ♪ You have driven her away forever ♪ ♪ Jealous heart now I'm the lonely one ♪ ♪ She was part of everything I planned for ♪ ♪ And I know she loved me from the start ♪ ♪ Now she hates the sight off all I stand for ♪ ♪ All because of you old jealous heart ♪ Take the move on. - [Narrator] A feature on every radio show was a country comedian. One of the best, went on to become one of the founders of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Whitey Ford better known as The Duke of Paducah. - I'm gonna to the wagon these shoes are killing me. - [Narrator] Tommy Scott and the Georgia Peanut Band have been performing for over 40 years. Along the way, they have featured such names as Lash LeRoux, Stringbean, Tim McCoy and Johnny Mack Brown. Here with a closer look at a Medicine Show, is Ramblin' Tommy Scott. ♪ Well now medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ A bottle for a dollar ♪ ♪ Two dollar hot ♪ ♪ Monkey on the chain just to make you laugh ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ A long tall man with a great big whip ♪ ♪ Got a big city pitch that will always win ♪ ♪ Don't matter if the weather is hot or cold ♪ ♪ He knows them birds have gotta be sold ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ A bottle for a dollar ♪ ♪ Two dollar hot ♪ ♪ Monkey on the chain just to make you laugh ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ With the medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ A bottle for a dollar ♪ ♪ A two dollar hot ♪ ♪ Monkey on the chain just to make you laugh ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ ♪ Medicine man a pitching emerged ♪ ♪ At the Old Time Medicine Show ♪ Well, do you see the bottle? - Yeah, we see the bottle. - It's full of the stuff. - It's full of the stuff. - Now you can trust the bottle. - Yeah, we trust the bottle. ♪ And tell 'em you got it at the Medicine Show. ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles ♪ ♪ That cure of mother natures herbs and berries and wine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ - Now if you got the itch so bad, takes two to help you scratch. - Scratch, scratch. - And if you can't hear thunder 'cause your ears are full of wax. - Full of wax. - If your shopper book is dead keep calling you a dirty heel. - A dirty heel. - Don't let your nerves get shocked apart. And I will just scream. Just take a dose or two will cure all and your trouble gotta go. - Gotta go. - And tell 'em you got it at the Medicine Show. - At the Medicine Show. ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ That cure of mother natures herbs and berries and wine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ That cure of mother natures herbs and berries and wine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ That cure of mother natures herbs and berries and wine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ That cure of mother natures herbs and berries and wine ♪ ♪ Take well ♪ ♪ Take well these bottles a cure of ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ ♪ Guaranteed to make you feel fine ♪ - [All] So long Doc. - [Narrator] Country western music has a long tradition of singing cowboys. Ray Whitley wrote the Hollywood Range as the singing sidekick to George O'Brien and Tim Holt. He was also a successful band leader and songwriter. Here with a song he wrote and Gene Autry made famous, is Ray Whitley. ♪ Out where a friend is a friend ♪ ♪ Where the longhorn cattle feed ♪ ♪ On the lowly jimsonweed ♪ ♪ Back in the saddle again ♪ ♪ Ridin' the range once more ♪ ♪ Totin' my old 44 ♪ ♪ I sleep out every night ♪ ♪ Where the only law is right ♪ ♪ Back in the saddle again ♪ Everybody. ♪ Whoopi-ty-aye-oh ♪ ♪ Rockin' to and fro ♪ ♪ Back in the saddle again ♪ ♪ Whoopi-ty-aye-yay ♪ ♪ I go my way ♪ ♪ Back in the saddle again ♪ - [Narrator] Starting out as a college professor, Jimmie Davis soon switched to music. Singing both country and gospel, Jimmie interrupted his singing career twice to serve two terms as governor of Louisiana. He has influenced the careers of many country artists and wrote, perhaps, the best known of all country songs. - While I was with three other country musicians, quite a few years ago, who stormed into country trying to make a little dough, who made all the chili joints, eating hotdogs and stews and at night time three deep in a moving bed, all singing the hard time blues. Hoping someday we'd record a hit and things would be sweet. Then we'd just settle down on a place you'd call easy street. It so happened on one July the 6th, we recorded Little Did He, it went something like this. ♪ The other night dear ♪ ♪ As I lay sleeping ♪ ♪ I dreamed I held you in my arms ♪ ♪ But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken ♪ ♪ So I hung my head and cried ♪ Here we go. ♪ You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ♪ ♪ You make me happy when skies are gray ♪ ♪ You'll never know, dear, how much I love you ♪ ♪ Please don't take my sunshine away ♪ Listen folks, I wanna tell you something and tell you for sure. You know there's not much that, that old sunshine won't cure. So, when you're down and you're feeling kinda low just walk right out in it's golden glow. Try not to worry and don't ever whine. Yes, there were good friends and neighbors and all you gotta to do is just take a little bit, just a spoonful. The old time is sunshine. Now here I go, one more time with the Fan Fair choir. ♪ You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ♪ ♪ You make me happy when skies are gray ♪ ♪ You'll never know, dear, how much I love you ♪ ♪ Please don't take my sunshine away ♪ Thank you, thank you, thank you. - [Narrator] There had been...

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