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Glenville State Bluegrass Band performs Flatt and Scruggs tribute

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GLENVILLE, WV—The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band will perform a tribute to The Flatt and Scruggs Show at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Tickets are $5.50 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-11.

Megan Darby, director of GSC's Bluegrass Music Degree Program, the world's first such degree, says the program represents part of Appalachian history.

"It is important to honor those musicians that are significant to creating the traditional bluegrass sound," she said. "After the recent passing of the legendary Earl Chugs, I decided it was time to honor him along with his playing partner, Lester Flatt. I called my friend Danny Clark, who books the bus, and asked what the chances of getting the Martha White Bluegrass Bus to Glenville in conjunction with the concert. He was so excited—and so are we."

Bus owners Don and Danny Clark will tell the special story of its purchase and purpose between two 45-minute musical sets.

"Having experienced seeing the Martha White Bus when it carried Flatt & Scruggs to their show dates throughout West Virginia in the 1950s and 60s," added Buddy Griffin, who was instrumental in creating the Bluegrass Degree at GSC, "I know first-hand the cultural impact that can be realized at an opportunity such as this. Josh Graves, Flatt & Scruggs' Dobro player, said to me once that people would line up along their concert route just to see that bus and wave to them as they went by - simply thrilling for 'hot-rize' biscuit eaters and banjo enthusiasts, alike."

Prior to the concert, from 12 to 7 p.m., tours will be given of the historic ‘Rolling Bus Museum' just outside the GSC Fine Arts Center entrance. Flatt and Scruggs, along with the Foggy Mountain Boys, toured in the bus from 1948 until the band broke up in 1969. The bus is a hands-on interactive exhibition that allows children and adults to see hundreds of autographed photos and vintage clothing from country stars such as Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin and Johnny Cash. A rich and diverse collection of musical memorabilia dating back to the 1930s is also part of the display.

Initially, the band was formed by Flatt who had previously played with Bill Monroe. With Flatt's rhythm guitar, Scruggs' unique banjo leads, and their combined vocal strength, the Foggy Mountain boys steadily gained popularity and over time arguably became the most famous bluegrass band of all time. In 1955, they became regular members of the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1963, Flatt and Scruggs played "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," in the TV sitcom, "The Beverly Hillbillies." The show's theme song became the first bluegrass song to reach number one in the country charts and only one other has made it to the top in the past 50 years. 

For tickets, contact Sheri Skidmore in the Fine Arts Department at Sheri.Skidmore@Glenville.edu  or 304-462-6340.