This week’s edition of ABC’s hit reality show, Wife Swap, will feature the Stockdale Family of Ohio as one of the subjects of the show’s family exchange experiment. Kathy Stockdale is both the matriarch of her brood, and the manager of their bluegrass group, The Stockdale Family Band. The band features her husband, Tim, and their four sons Calvin, Charles, Jacob and James.
Despite the salacious title, the actual concept of the show is to take two families with different life styles and parenting approaches, and have the moms change places for two weeks time. Of course, the cameras are there to capture the predictable conflict, all displayed on screen for your televisual entertainment.
Interestingly, ABC went looking for a bluegrass family band for this episode, and found the Stockdale family through David Russell, who manages both the Buckeyebluegrass.com and BluegrassMusician.com web sites. Russell says that they were contacted about this last year, and recommended their friends, the Stockdales, right away.
Initially, they were not interested in doing the show, but Kathy and Tim relented once they saw how eager the boys were to give it a try.
The episode was filmed last summer, and is scheduled to run on Wednesday (4/23) at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on ABC. It is being promoted as a city/country culture clash, with Kathy Stockdale as the over-protective mom as against the more liberal mom who joins their family from town.
Kathy described the experience as one that, though trying at times, ended up being a positive one for her family.
“Being a farm, homeschooling, bluegrass band family, we enjoy a lot of common experiences, but we have to chalk the Wife Swap adventure as the grand family bonding experience for the Stockdales for which we will never be the same. We relate differently in that we have even more and deeper collective experiences where we overcame obstacles and accomplished a giant task together. No one else will understand the Wife Swap journey like we do and that is one of the things that will make our family unit different and special forever.”
I’m not sure if this is the way we want bluegrass to reach potential new converts, but no one asked me. If you are so inclined, look for the Stockdales on Wife Swap this Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.