Bluegrass 45 : 50 years ago this week – Week 11

1971-8-26 Thursday—Day off

I woke up at 10 am but went back to sleep.  Everybody else got up around 2 pm but I kept on sleeping.  Darn!  Finally I’m worn out and sick – headache, sore throat and my whole body is aching.  I managed to eat dinner a little.  Dick came over and discussed song selection for our second album and confirmed John Duffey is going to produce it.

1971-8-27 Friday— Day off, Rehearsal

Treacherous rain.  I’m still sick. Dick & John Duffey came up at 11 am and rehearsed till 3 pm.  One of the songs he suggested us to do, was “Last Call to Glory” that he wrote and we were honored.  We recorded our rehearsal on a cassette and gave it to John.  In the evening I felt better and ate dinner OK, then back to sleep.  With this heavy rain the Shenandoah River must be flooding again.

1971-8-28 Saturday—Berryville Contest

Sunny—not a cloud in the sky.  I got up at 9 am and finally felt better.  We left Hyattsville at 10 am and arrived at Berryville 12:45 pm.  Brought hot dog buns but forgot hot dogs.  Stupid!

Bob Goff, young Bluegrass Buddies, High County Boys, sisters (Country Roads?), etc.  Toshio forgot his red pants.  Dick cut my hair – we left Japan in mid-June and we hadn’t been to a barber yet.

I didn’t write down the first set.

Photo by Akira Otuska

Second set

  1. Raise a Ruckus
  2. Wild & Reckless Hobo
  3. Little Cabin Home on the Hill
  4. Bill Cheatam
  5. Long Black Veil
  6. Long Lonesome Road
  7. Sakura
  8. Run Mountain
  9. Bring Me Back

We sold 21 copies of LPs.  We taught members of Bluegrass Buddies (Jimmy Haley & Lou Reid).  Dick, Liao, Josh & Toshio fell into mud, which was everywhere.

1971-8-29 Sunday—Berryville Contest

I had a hard time sleeping and got up at 9:30 am.  Being a responsible person, Liao went and set up a record table.  Dick’s wife, Sheila, came in and brought Toshio’s pants.  Benny Cain let me play his 3/31/1924 Lloyd Loar.  He has 2 Loars and a 1938 D-45!

1st set

  1. Blue Ridge Cabin Home
  2. Place in the Sun
  3. Theme Time (written by Bill Emerson)
  4. Are You Tired of Me
  5. Peach Mountain Ballad
  6. Sitting on Top of the World
  7. Little Cabin Home On The Hill
  8. Daybreak in Dixie
  9. Nobody’s Love is Like Mine
  10. Come Home, My Dear One
  11. Proud Mary

2nd set

  1. Devil’s Dream
  2. That’s the Time
  3. Hamabe
  4. How Mountain Girls Can Love
  5. Crossing the Cumberland
  6. Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party
  7. Daybreak in Dixie
  8. How Far to Berryville
  9. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  10. Foggy Mountain Breakdown

(We got off the stage and started signing autographs, then they asked us to do one more.)

  1. Mocking Banjo

The contest ended around 7 pm. While judges were discussing, Bill Carroll fell again and Dick took him to a hospital but luckily it wasn’t too serious.  Sab found Porter Church picking in the parking lot—one of his favorite banjo players.  We left Berryville at 10 pm and got home around midnight.

1971-8-30 Monday—Day off & Rehearsal

Photo by Akira Otuska
Photo by Akira Otuska

Got up at 10 am & took a bath.  It’s nice that our apartment has a swimming pool but it’s too bad they’re closed on Mondays.  At 2 pm we went to the bus, filled up water, exchanged & painted tires.  Then we went home and rehearsed “What Am I Doing Hanging Around”.  (Notes: It’s a Monkees song that John Duffey suggested us to do, but we first heard Eddie Adcock’s version.  We recorded it in September but a few months later John formed a new group, the Seldom Scene, and they included this song on their first album, Act I.)  I wrote many letters home and finally bedtime at 3 am.

1971-8-31 Tuesday—Rehearsal with Duffey

I got up at noon.   We didn’t have regular bread or hamburger buns, so we put hamburgers and bacon on hotdog buns.  Went to Dick’s house, washed the bus, painted tires, borrowed his van and went grocery shopping including many cases of Coke for this coming weekend at Camp Springs.  Fried fish dinner at home—I ate too much.

John Duffey & Ed Ferris came over and supervised us practicing “Pray for the Boys” and “What Am I Doing Hanging Around.”  Even before we came to the States, we knew John was very particular about pronunciation unlike some of other Bluegrass singers.   So that gave Josh, our lead singer, a lot of pressure.  Even after John and Ed had left, we kept practicing till 1 am.

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