Rock of Ages video from Rick Hayes

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme OutFinalists in the IIIrd Tyme Out Father’s Day photo contest will be posted tomorrow (6/16). Our readers will be invited to choose the winner, which will be announced for Father’s Day on Sunday (6/21). The theme of the contest is Me and Dad, taken from the song by that name on Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, the new 3TO CD from Rural Rhythm Records.

But it’s a shame we didn’t have a video contest as well – at least for the sake of this precious video created by Rick Hayes. Until recently, Rick was the mandolinist with The Gibson Brothers, a position he gave up to focus his efforts on his other pursuits which include mandolin building, audio recording and video production.

Lyn Hayes, Rick’s partner in life and in their business, Hayes Productions, shared the story of the video which celebrates Rick’s dad.

“While reading over the IIIrd Time Out photo contest entry, I was thinking you guys might be interested in a Father-Son music video that we shot and produced a little while ago. It’s of Rick and his dad, Green Hayes (interesting name, remarkable man), doing Jacob’s Ladder (Rock of Ages). Green had originally recorded it when he was about 82.

Then we shot the video a year or so later, and decided to add the song as a bonus track to Rick’s solo CD, Fly By Night. I’m glad we did. We’ve received a lot of wonderful comments on it. Green turned 86 last September and is going strong. Rick and he go to jams all the time and even played a show together last Sunday.”

What a wonderful tribute to Dad – and a great take on this timeless song.

Lyn offered a few more details about Green, which makes for an inspirational story as we head into Father’s Day…

“Much of the video footage was taken at their homeplace in McKee, Kentucky when we went down for Decoration Day (Memorial Day) to place flowers at the family grave sites. (You may notice the original family name was spelled Hays. Long story there.) Green and his wife of 62 years, Geneva, are proud to say they have been back home for this tradition every year but one for the past 40 plus years.

Speaking of Memorial Day, I just have to add one brief anecdote that speaks to the character of Green. Like many young men in the 1940s, Green joined the army as soon as he was old enough and fought honorably, leaving only because he spent 36 days straight held down in a frozen foxhole. They wanted to amputate his feet, but he wouldn’t let them so he spent a year and a half in the hospital rehabilitating. They did, however, want to give him a Purple Heart (in addition to the other medals he earned) for a minor scratch he received from some barbed wire fence. He refused. He felt it would be a slap in the face to the men and women he felt truly deserved this honor.

That’s the kind of guy he is.”

Thanks to Rick and Lyn Hayes for sending that video, and a Bluegrass Blog salute to all the men like Green Hayes, and to all our Dads wherever they may be!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.