Sierra Hull on the set

Sierra Hull, in period costume on the set of Billy: The Early YearsHow many of us would look favorably on the notion of returning to high school after having reached adulthood. Not many, I would guess. For most of us, our teen aged years were busy, confusing and often highly-stressful times.

For one Sierra Hull – oft-mentioned here on Bluegrass Today of late – high school years are combined with a growing celebrity in the bluegrass and acoustic music world, a debut CD on a major independent label, and an acting debut in a film on the life of noted evangelist Billy Graham.

While her CD, Secrets, is winning rave reviews from the critics and she is playing weekends at large festivals all over the US, Sierra managed to carve out some time from school and performance commitments to shoot scenes in the upcoming film, Billy: The Early Years. She will play Graham’s sister, Catherine, in the production, which calls on her to act as well as sing.

Primary roles in the film include Lindsay Wagner as Graham’s mother and Martin Landau as Graham’s associate, Charles Templeton. Country singer Josh Turner also appears as George Beverly Shea, a popular singer in the 1940s who was tapped to head Graham’s radio ministry.

A number of other bluegrass artists appear in the movie and sing on the soundtrack, including Ronnie Bowman, Ronnie McCoury, John Cowan and Randy Scruggs, all of whom were involved in some scenes shot on April 20 near Nashville.

Sierra sent along a number of photos taken that day by her mom, Brenda. They give a nice impression of how well the filmmakers capture the look and feel of rural North Carolina in the 1920s.

Lindsay Wagner and Sierra Hull on the set of Billy: The Early Years Sierra Hull with other cast members on the set of Billy: The Early Years Sierra Hull on the set of Billy: The Early Years Filming the tent revival scene on the set of Billy: The Early Years

On the set of Billy: The Early Years  The bluegrass contingent on the set of Billy: The Early Years - John Wesley Ryles, Robbie Benson, Ronnie Bowman, John Cowan, Ronnie McCoury, Harry Stinson, Sierra Hull, unknown, Randy Scruggs (seated)  Sierra Hull on the set of Billy: The Early Years  Sierra says: I had to pass along the picture of those shoes! They were so old, and believe me.. painful during that 12 hour shoot!

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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.