Radio Bristol, located in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA, has announced a new weekly program featuring the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. The show, like the band, will be dedicated to recreating the feel of the live radio programs that defined the early days of bluegrass music, much of if right there in Bristol.
The station had just recently resurrected the Farm & Fun Time show, which had once been the regular radio home for such iconic entertainers as The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Jim & Jesse, Carl Story, and Mac Wiseman. This was during the late 1940s, when the show broadcast a live signal from a studio situated on State Street in the General Shelby Hotel.
The original Farm & Fun Time aired daily at noon, with top regional entertainers moving in and out of Bristol for months at a time, playing the show each afternoon, and performing concerts around the area in the evenings. Over the years, WCYB, which hosted the program at 690 AM, developed a signal strength sufficient to reach multiple states, rivaling the shows broadcast in Wheeling, WV, Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN.
Radio Bristol’s revived version of the program is quite different from the early days, and is broadcast monthly as a musical variety show from the museum’s new studios. The new program with the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys will return to the old half hour noon slot, billed as the Farm and Fun Time Noon Show, and will air each Friday afternoon. It will be just the Boys and a studio announcer, doing live commercials within the show, like it was back in the day.
C.J. Lewandowski, mandolinist with Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and a Bluegrass Today correspondent, tells us that they will record a month’s worth of shows live in a single session at the studio each month, and run them on Fridays at noon. Listeners will be encouraged to send requests in by mail (or email) and engage with the show on social media. No word yet whether they will have a dedication each week for the sick and shut in fans.
The first airing of the Farm and Fun Time Noon Show will be on February 3. If you love old time radio, and old school bluegrass, this should be appointment listening.
Lewandowski is also in discussion with the station to produce an hour long show drawn from his extensive collection of vintage country and bluegrass music on vinyl.