Last Friday, June 13, the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame held a ceremony inducting its charter members. The ceremony took place at the Walker Center on the campus of Wilkes Community College, the home of Merlefest.
The Hall of Fame is located on the second floor of the Wilkes Heritage Museum, housed in a turn of the century (1902) historical courthouse. The exhibit actually opened on May 29, featuring instruments, biographies, and historical recordings. Intending to include both famous musicians, as well as those who have worked behind the scenes to make the music possible, from a geographic area ranging from northern Georgia into northern Virginia, the Hall of Fame inducted the following persons.
- Doc Watson
- Dolly Parton
- Wayne Henderson
- David Johnson (a studio musician and performer from Wilkes County)
- Earl Scruggs
- The Carter Family
- Ralph Epperson (the founder of radio station WPAQ in Mount Airy)
- Tommy Jarrell (an influential banjo player and fiddler from Surry County)
- Folklorist Ralph Rinzler of the Smithsonian Institution
- Sam Love Queen Sr. (known as the Square Dance King of Western North Carolina)
You can see photos and short bios of each inductee at this link.
Art Menius, a longtime fixture at MerleFest and now director of Appalshop, a nonprofit group in Whitesburg, Ky., that documents and celebrates the culture of Appalachia, will be an honorary inductee. He did much of the preliminary work for the hall of fame.
Art is an active member of the online bluegrass community and we congratulate him on this well deserved honor.