Cleo Lemons legacy lives on in Sandy Ridge

This report on the long-running series of bluegrass shows in Sandy Ridge, NC is a contribution from Jay Adams, banjo player with Rich in Tradition. Jay assumed management of this popular local tradition in 2010 when its founder, Cleo Lemons, turned 90 years of age.

Alan Bibey, Bob Webster, and Jay Adams at the 68th annual Sandy Ridge Bluegrass Show (3/19/16)Saturday March 19 marked 68 years of bluegrass music at the Sandy Ridge School in Sandy Ridge, NC.Β Host band Rich in Tradition and headliners Alan Bibey & Grasstowne played to a standing room only crowd of enthusiastic fans.

Master of ceremonies Bob Webster, recently had an article in the January issue of Bluegrass Unlimited detailing some of the interesting facts about the earlier days of the show, which Flatt and Scruggs played annually for 20 years followed by Flatt’s Nashville Grass, The Osborne Bros, Jim and Jessie, The Lewis Family and others.

A very special guest, Dukes of Drive lead singer, Joey Lemons, took the stage with Rich in Tradition during their second set for a few numbers to honor his grandfather, Cleo Lemons. Sadly Cleo, who established the Sandy Ridge School Bluegrass Show in 1948, passed away on March 5th, just days before this year’s concert. Joey also gave an emotional “Thank you” at the beginning of the concert to all those involved with continuing his grandfather’s efforts to bring the best in bluegrass to Sandy Ridge.

Rich In Tradition performs with Joey Lemons at the March 19, 2016 Sandy Ridge Bluegrass ShowIt was a great night for both bluegrass fans and the Sandy Ridge Elementary school. The proceeds from the concert benefit the school.

We are working on something very special for 2018 which will mark 70 years of bluegrass and history at Sandy Ridge.