The album celebrates the contributions of Galyean, a legendary performer from western North Carolina who had worked with The Stanley Brothers, Hylo Brown and Charlie Monroe. All of the songs are ones Galyean has written, performed by such stellar Virginia/North Carolina artists as Junior Sisk, Terry Baucom, Johnny Williams, Jimmy Haley and Rick Allred.
Cullen was discovered in 1965 at the storied Fincastle bluegrass festival, where he won the banjo competition with a spirited rendition of Midnight Ramble. That ’65 live audio is included as on the tracks on the new CD. He had been recorded before in 1984, with Bobby Harrison on the Folkways album, Old Time Bluegrass from the Virginia-North Carolina Border.
Judith Burnette of WBRF tells us that Cullen’s son Mickey Galyean will be with her in the studio during the 8:00 p.m. hour while they highlight the music from Born Into Bluegrass. Mickey performs with his own bluegrass band, Rich In Tradition.
“I’m hoping Cullen will be well enough to join us in celebration, as well. He has been in the nursing home for the last several weeks for rehab. He had a serious bladder infection and was hospitalized a couple of times because of that. He wasn’t very mobile before this illness, and was even less so after the hospital stays. Mickey told me he has been able to walk from the bed to the bathroom, and from a wheelchair to his bed so that is an improvement.”
Cullen was able to be in the studio for some of the recording of this project. He plays his banjo and sings baritone on Bluegrass Time, he sings baritone on Days of Grey and Black, Judy Lou and Blue Ridge Mountains.”
WBRF broadcasts at 98.1 FM from Galax, and can be heard over a wide area in Virginia, North Carolina Tennessee and West Virginia. They also simulcast online at www.blueridgecountry98.com.
Born Into Bluegrass – The Songs of Cullen Galyean is scheduled for release on October 1.