Regular Bluegrass Today readers will have seen our coverage throughout the summer of the rift that developed between the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA and the staff of the popular bluegrass television program, Song Of The Mountains.
The split occurred in the midst of financial difficulties that were plaguing the show, which is broadcast on dozens of PBS affiliate stations in the US, and also threatening its ability to remain on the air. The theatre board, which owned the rights to the name, terminated their contract with Tim White, who had hosted the show from its inception as a cost-saving measure.
In a set of quickly cascading events, the Song Of The Mountains technical team quit, and most of the guests booked for future shows indicated that they would decline to perform unless White returned. Soon a group of Marion businesspeople formed a new non-profit and arranged for a transfer of ownership of the program from the theatre to themselves, and returned Tim to his previous position as host.
The show had been boon to the town of Marion, not only from visitors staying over when attending the regular tapings, but also from its name being so closely associated with with a widely broadcast PBS property. Everyone seems to be happy with the new arrangement, with White returning to the stage of The Lincoln Theater once again on September 5.
He shared the photo above, along with this brief remembrance of him keeping a promise he made a few months ago.
“The crowd enjoyed the moment as did I. My friend and fellow musician from Bristol, Lightnin’ Charlie was positioned stage left at the opening of the concert taping. He sang one verse of the song I’m Back in the Saddle Again and introduced me as ‘Host of Song of the Mountains.’ I was touched by the huge response and standing ovation.
As I promised in promotions leading up to the concert, I immediately walked to the front of center stage, knelt down and kissed the stage. The show went great too, with artists Lightnin’ Charlie, Emi Sunshine, The Ransom Notes, and Jesse McReynolds.”
The next live taping is scheduled for October 5, and is being billed as the Sammy Shelor Birthday Bash with Lonesome River Band, Kody Norris, Judge Talford Band, Ashley Lewis, and Giles Mountain String Band.
Welcome back, Tim White!