I was so bummed that the servers were acting up last night. I lost a really long, detailed post about the Pre-Awards reception, but, I will attempt to redo it to give you all an idea who was there and what was happening.
The Pre-Awards reception was held in Studio A, which is adjacent to the backstage area of the Grand Ole Opry. Once upon a time, Studio A was where a lot of the shows on the late Nashville Network were taped, as well as Hee Haw, from the early 80’s on.
BMI put out a nice spread of finger foods, an open bar and provided some wonderful music in the background that featured Pete Wernick, Mike Bub as well as some bluegrass vibes and clarinet. It was wonderful and definitely provided a festive backdrop. I couldn’t see who all was in the band and I apologize for not having all the names, but, they were wonderful. It was so crowded in that room, it was difficult to see.
When we made our way into the reception, the first person we saw was Rounder Records head Ken Irwin who introduced me to the legendary Hazel Dickens. I got the biggest kick out of seeing that Hazel and my mother in law Hazel Smith giggling. What they were giggling about, I do not know. They were sure enjoying each other’s company though.
I was surprised and happy to see my old boss man, Stan Hitchcock,who I had not seen in about 15 years. Remember the days of the old Country Music Television when Stan and Ronnie Reno would pick in between videos? I didn’t get a chance to talk to Ronnie, but, he was milling around Studio A as well.
Rhonda Vincent looked great in her white evening gown; all of the Cherryholmes ladies were decked out in lovely gowns, greeting and posing for pictures;
Everybody appreciates and loves Bob McLean, the man who made it possible for Mother Maybelle‘s guitar and Bill Monroe’s mandolin to be where they belong…in the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s always great to see Bob.
Molly Skaggs looked beautiful in black. I was so happy to see her aunt, Cheryl White Jones, and her new husband (new as since Labor Day), Billy Paul Jones; her grandpa Buck White; her cousin Rachel (Mrs. Andy) Leftwich;longtime Skaggs staffer Barbara Kimes; I later saw the Patriarch himself, Ricky Skaggs and had to tell him, “No, you can not give my 8 year old some coffee.”
All of the McCoury Clan was present, even Lisa McCoury (Mrs. Robbie) who you could not tell just delivered a baby about a month ago. Mama Jean, Daddy Del, Sister Rhonda and her son, Jacob,who has suddenly turned into a young man. He looked simply smashing in his tux.
I was thrilled to see legendary songwriter/mogul Bill Gaither. Bill was there to induct The Lewis Family into the Hall of Honor. His Mountain Homecoming video prominently featured bluegrass artists like Rhonda, Del, Doyle Lawson and Marty Stuart.
Lots of great couples moving through Studio A- Bluegrass Unlimited’s Pete Kuykendall and his always colorful and hilarious bride, Kitsy; another great Bluegrass couple Terry and Cindy Baucom; Jeff and Sheri Easter; I had the pleasure of meeting another nice couple Kevin and Pam Sluder; Jan and David Harvey, along with their daughter, Emma; Mike & Meredith Bub with their 2 year old son, Riley, in tow;Earl and Janis Phillips and Earl offered his sympathies to me for enduring 17 years of marriage to that Smith Guy.