Treva Chrisco passes

Mrs. JD (Treva) Chrisco, 98, former freelance writer for Bluegrass Unlimited, Pickin‘, and Muleskinner News magazines, passed away Friday, August 11, in Marshville, NC. Mrs. Chrisco was known for her love of bluegrass music and was a strong supporter. She wrote a weekly column, Country Music Notes, which ran for over 20 years in the now discontinued Asheboro, NC newspaper, the Randolph Guide.

Bluegrass scholar and IBMA Foundation chair, Fred Bartenstein, shared, “Treva Chrisco was a pioneer in following and writing intelligently about old-time and bluegrass music. She taught me a lot about North Carolina’s musical heritage.”

Mrs. Chrisco worked to promote North Carolina music events including bluegrass festivals and fiddlers’ conventions. In an age before computers, internet, and digital photography, she created band mailing lists for promoters, wrote promotional pieces for their events, and took thousands of pictures that she had to mail off to be developed, and then reprinted to share with others. She did all this on a volunteer basis with no monetary gain.

Milton Harkey of Bluegrass First Class and founding IBMA member, stressed, “Mrs Chrisco has influenced countless lives in the music industry and was highly influential in my decision to start the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival in 1981.  She influenced many more people than she ever knew she did. Those of us that she encouraged were able to pass it on to thousands of people on her behalf.”

 “In my opinion, her contribution to bluegrass music was huge,” Bluegrass Today photographer, G Nicholas Hancock, added.

From 1971-2021, Mrs. Chrisco received several awards for her hard work and dedication from the Albemarle Fiddlers’ Convention, the Montgomery County Bluegrass Festival, the Mooresville Fiddlers’ Convention, the Granite Quarry Fiddlers’ Convention, and the Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention.

Vivian Hopkins, former president of the North Carolina Bluegrass Association shared…

“As long as I can remember in going to bluegrass events, and especially fiddlers’ conventions, I remember Mrs. Chrisco always being there, sitting near the front, watching the competitions intently, taking it all in. I always enjoyed reading her articles. Her writing inspired me in my own endeavors as a freelance writer. 

She is remembered fondly by members of the Granite Quarry, NC Civitan Club and was highly respected by Mr. James Mathis, the Civitan’s original Fiddlers’ Convention coordinator. In 1982, Mrs. Chrisco was the first woman to be recognized by the Granite Quarry Civitan Fiddlers’ Convention committee for her contributions to bluegrass and traditional old time music. From all of us, she will be sorely missed.”

Mrs. Chrisco also served as the North Carolina representative for the Tom T Hall and Lewis Family Fan Clubs. 

Little Roy Lewis said, “This is so sad, but she had a good life. Along with my wife, Bonnie, Thelda Owens, and Betty Faye Lewis, Mrs. Chrisco helped head up our Lewis Family fan club. Back in the old days, you had to have a fan club to share information. We had about 400-500 members then. Once a month, they would prepare a newsletter (to be mailed through the postal service) that told all about the Lewis Family. She and her husband, JD, were some of the best friends I ever had. She’s one of those people that you never forget.”

Well-loved and respected, Mrs. Chrisco grew to know many other professional musicians personally such as Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Val Storey, and Marty Stuart, plus the late Carl Story, Jim Eanes, and Tater Tate to name a few. 

“She taught me to love bluegrass music, the folks who played it, and to share that love with others,” concluded her daughter, Sandy Hatley, a freelance writer for this publication.

A celebration of life service – with lots of bluegrass music, by her design – will be held on Sunday, August 20, at 3:00 p.m., at Love’s Chapel UMC in Stanfield, NC. A reception and receiving of friends will be held following her service. Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23, at Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, NC, where her husband, JD “Bo” Chrisco, a WWII veteran, was laid to rest in 2012.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:

Love’s Chapel UMC
PO Box 126
Stanfield, NC 28163

R.I.P., Treva Chrisco

Share this:

About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.