By The Blue Ridge Music Association
Issue: May, 1985
Dear Mountain Laurel,
We would like to inform readers about a new organization called the Blue Ridge Music Association. A number of musicians got together to form the Association because of the following reasons:
Historically, Galax [Virginia] and the surrounding counties have played a major role in the development of old time and bluegrass music and traditional dance because of the wealth of traditional music which has existed is the area from the time of the early settlers; it is one of the few areas where this music is still active by virtue of the many string bands, weekly dances, fiddlers conventions, singings and other gospel music, radio broadcasting, record companies like County and Heritage Records, and most important, the many older musicians who are so generous in sharing their musical traditions with those who want to learn.
We formed the Association as a means of presenting quality shows which would bring together the many different forms of our traditional music. As an example, at our last show, the scheduled performers were Rafe Brady, Enoch Rutherford and the Gold Hill Boys, the Whitetop Mountain Band, Dealer's Choice, Susan Francis & Sylvia Delaney, and the Royal Grayson Cloggers.
Many musicians generously donate their talents in making our monthly shows a success and we wish to thank them. The shows are a cooperative effort involving planning and preparation as well as performance. The audiences have been orderly and attentive and the shows have been very well attended. The shows are free but donations are welcomed. The New River Wildlife Club has kindly allowed us to use their building and co-sponsors the shows. No alcohol is allowed at these shows so it is good family entertainment.
The purpose of the Blue Ridge Music Association is to encourage the "preservation and perpetuation of old time and bluegrass music and dance of the Blue Ridge area," as stated in our bylaws. Free membership is open to anyone interested in this purpose. We hold our monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month at the Galax Recreation Center. The next meeting will be on May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. We need help from musicians and non-musicians on our various committees and in generally helping to ensure the continued success of the monthly shows. We hope that any interested persons will come to the next meeting.
The Blue Ridge Music Association