While many people have strong opinions about how to best preserve and promote bluegrass music, most of us can agree that it’s important for younger generations to step in and help keep the music we all love alive. North Carolina DJ Annette Grady knows the importance of that first hand. She began her career in radio by sitting in on her grandfather’s long-running program and eventually founded her own Internet radio station, known as The Bluegrass Jamboree.
Thanks to her grandfather, Chester Thompson, a popular bluegrass radio broadcaster in eastern North Carolina for 61 years, Grady grew up around both bluegrass and radio. “It’s been a part of my life since I was born,” she says. However, she never really considered it as a career path. As her grandfather began to get older, he worried that no one would continue his radio program once he was gone. In 2007, Grady began co-hosting the Chester Thompson Old Time Jamboree with her grandfather, gaining two years of hands-on experience with him. He passed away in 2009, and Grady took over the show, fulfilling her grandfather’s wish that someone keep the tradition alive.
Grady continues to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as the host of her own program, The Annette Grady Jamboree, where she plays bluegrass, bluegrass Gospel, and traditional country music. She also occasionally serves as an event promoter and emcee in and around her eastern North Carolina home. She recently took the time to answer a few questions for us, giving us a look at her thoughts on bluegrass music.
How would you define bluegrass music as a genre?
“The music that tells stories and means something…”
What form of bluegrass do you most enjoy? Which artists do you consider as examples of that form?
“Traditional. Ralph Stanley, Roy McMillan, The Johnson Mountain Boys, etc…”
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
“I’m not sure that is something I could even contemplate. I suppose a compilation album would be best since I have such a love for several different bands. Live projects from bluegrass festivals are always a good choice.”
What album or artist is currently playing in your car stereo?
“Lynwood Lunsford & the Misty Valley Boys.”
Grady says that artists wishing to submit their music for play on her radio show are welcome to send copies by snail mail or email, although she does prefer physical copies. Albums can be sent to her at:
248 Toler Road
Princeton, NC 27569
For more information on Grady and The Bluegrass Jamboree, visit www.thebluegrassjamboree.com.
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