Barry Abernathy and family to be interviewed on The Today Show

Barry Abernathy, banjo player and vocalist with Appalachian Road Show, will be appearing tomorrow morning along with his family on the Today show.

They will be on to talk about Barry and Beverly Abernathy having recently adopted a pair of siblings (5 and 6) who have been living in a series of foster homes for some time. We covered the story last month, and the all-too-poignant fact that the younger of the two, Tyler, lives with the same birth defect that Barry was born with. Both of them have only a single finger on their left hand, and Barry has become a highly-respected professional touring musician using only the one finger, his thumb, and a partial nub.

Perhaps most notable in Abernathy’s case is his refusal to be put forward as some kind of hero, or example of succeeding in the face of an overwhelming obstacle. He has always said that he never knew anything different, and deserves no special praise for figuring out how to make himself into a banjo player. It takes a lot of hard work for anyone to reach a high level on any musical instrument, even with a full set of fingers, and he maybe worked a bit harder, is all he will allow.

What a marvelous example he will be for young Tyler as he grows up with the same difficulty.

When he was interviewed by Sandy Hatley last month, Barry shared this heartfelt sentiment.

“I am 50 years old, and my wife and I have never even thought about fostering or adopting. However, when these children came into our lives, we both felt God’s calling to try and take them into our family. Tyler has a left hand exactly like mine. I’ve never seen anyone else’s exactly like mine. Also, neither child had even known a dad. We were their ninth placement in 10 months.”

Much credit to Barry and Beverly Abernathy, and their two daughters, who have welcomed Tyler and Zoey into their family.

The Today show airs on NBC television from 7:00-11:00 a.m. each weekday morning, and the Abernathys are scheduled to appear during the fourth hour on May 12.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.