Back To The Blue Ridge, a popular bluegrass and old time music program on WVTF in Roanoke, VA, will end production this week after 16 years on the air. The retirement of host Kinney Rorrer is the reason for the program’s demise, and the station and his many fans in southwestern Virginia will celebrate his career with a send off party June 24 at The Floyd Country Store.
The show launched with two hosts, Kinney and Seth Williamson, a fellow roots and acoustic music enthusiast who died tragically in 2011. Both men were also banjo players and their shared passion often informed the show’s content.
Rorrer is a noted folklorist and music historian who taught at Danville Community College for 32 years. He is also the author of Ramblin’ Blues: The Life and Songs of Charlie Poole, a definitive biography of the influential banjo picker. Kinney was also a eager proponent of Poole’s playing, and could be found at festivals performing in that style.
With the end of Back To The Blue Ridge, he can fully retire to enjoy the music he loves and has promoted so well.
His final program will be recorded this weekend, and the show will continue to air Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon until July 8.
Congratulations and a happy retirement to Kinney Rorrer.