Detail from The Easter Brothers mural – James Easter and Tim White
While most bluegrass lovers in the US know Tim White as the genial host of the syndicated PBS program, Song of the Mountains, those in southwestern Virginia and east Tennessee also know him for his long running bluegrass radio program, and as an extremely gifted painter.
His mural in Bristol, TN that marks the historic Bristol Sessions across the street in Bristol, VA, has been a major tourist attraction since it was dedicated in 1986, and he tells us that he has been commissioned to create a similar, if slightly smaller mural of The Easter Brothers for their hometown of Mount Airy, NC.
The Easters were a dominant force in bluegrass Gospel music from the time they started in the business in the 1960s. Known for their old time style sibling harmony, Russell, James and Edd Easter also contributed hundreds of new songs to the genre during their active years. Among them are songs that have become standards like They’re Holding Up The Ladder, Heart That Will Never Break Again, He’s The Rock I’m Leaning On, and Hand Me Downs.
We lost Russell Easter in September of 2020, after losing Edd in January of 2019, leaving James as the only surviving brother. James continues tp perform with his wife, Denise, and also operates Mayberry Music Center on Main Street in downtown Mount Airy. Tim’s mural will be painted directly across the street from the store, which is managed by James’ daughter, Teresa.
White expects to start work on this 18 x 14 foot painting in April when the weather will be more conducive. The brick and mortar wall has already been pressure washed and sealed, and Tim has painted a smaller scale work approved by James for this project.
Anyone interested in helping the Mount Airy Downtown Business Association cover the costs of this project are invited to send financial contributions marked for this purpose to:
Miracle Waters Worship Center
P.O. Box 1744
Mount Airy, NC 27030
Further details can be obtained by contacting Roger Easter (336-429-9827), Tammy Miller (336-326-6766), or Phil Marsh (email).
An official dedication will be scheduled for later this spring.