Song of the Mountains mural in Marion

Tim White poses with his bluegrass mural in Marion, VirginiaThe town of Marion, Virgina has become a familiar one to fans of bluegrass music based on the popularity of Song Of The Mountains, a live performance television show that airs on dozens of PBS affiliates across the US. Marion has been a strong supporter of the program, and the live concerts held regularly at the town’s restored Lincoln Theater.

Now Tim White, host of the show, has repaid that courtesy by painting an 80 foot mural celebrating Song Of The Mountains and the history of bluegrass in Marion on the side of the retail outlet for Virginia Sweetwater Distillery, the state’s first legal moonshine manufacturer. It is located across the street from the Lincoln Theater.

Depicted are White, the Lincoln, local music legends Wayne Henderson, Carson Cooper, Bill Harrell, Cousin Zeke Leonard, and Hobart Smith, plus several iconic images relating to old time and bluegrass music in the area.

White says that it took him 16 days to complete the mural, a skill he developed working as a sign painter since 1979.

“Painting signs has been a major way I have supported my ‘bluegrass habit’ over my entire life. Occasionally I get the opportunity to paint murals. I painted a 30 x 100 ft. mural back in 1986 in Bristol, TN-VA paying tribute to the historic Bristol Sessions’ main players, the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Pop & Hattie Stoneman and Ralph Peer.”

This legend was created to point out the various items depicted on the side of the building. (Click to enlarge)


If you are driving by, be sure to honk and wave.

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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.