This is a couple years old but wanted to post it:
Memories. Gladys Flatt (third from left) holds the award presented by Songwriters Hall of Fame as they inducted her late husband, Lester Flatt, into its ranks of stars. L-R: Marty Stuart, who presented the award to Gladys; Earl Scruggs, Lester's partner who was also inducted; Gladys; and Tammy Herren Brumfield, the granddaughter of Lester and Gladys.
Wife and granddaughter accept award
The man who helped put Sparta on the map with his continuous string of bluegrass hits has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Lester Flatt, whose slow drawl and easy manner won the hearts of millions of fans in the United States, as well as overseas, was given the award posthumously during an Oct. 14, 2007, event at Renaissance Hotel, in Nashville.
Marty Stuart, one of Lester's former prot�s, presented the trophy to Flatt's widow, Gladys Flatt, and his granddaughter, Tammy Herren Brumfield, both of White County. Stuart, who has risen to stardom in the world of bluegrass music through the past three decades, lived with the Flatts when he was a young boy and remained in their home approximately three years. Also honored Sunday night was Earl Scruggs, Lester's former partner. Lester first hooked up with Scruggs as part of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, in 1945. Within three years, the two men had left Monroe to venture out and start their own act.
In 1953, Flatt and Scruggs began their WSM radio show for Martha White Flour. In 1956, they joined the Grand Ole Opry. In 1962, Flatt and Scruggs gained worldwide recognition when they recorded the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies TV show. The duo did not write the song, but it still hit number one within five weeks of the show's first broadcast. In 1962, they also performed at Carnegie Hall, becoming the first bluegrass act to have this honor bestowed upon them and performed the now-famous Martha White jingle. In 1967, Scrugg's instrumental, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, was used in the film Bonnie and Clyde. The song earned the duo a performance Grammy and went on to achieve Million-Air status from BMI. Flatt and Scruggs wrote many of their popular songs, including Don't Get Above Your Raisin', Crying My Heart Out Over You, Flint Hill Special and "Cabin in the Hills. They disbanded in 1969, but both were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Honor. In 1985, Flatt and Scruggs became only the second bluegrass act to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"It's really neat that more than 25 years after he died that he's nominated for something like this," said Brumfield, when talking about the man she affectionately still refers to as Poppa. "I'm just really sad that it couldn't have happened when he was living."
Flatt passed away in 1979 and is buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery, in Sparta.
Brumfield recalled a story her grandmother had told her about one of the times Lester had gotten the inspiration to write a song. At that point in the interview, Gladys took over the storytelling and said she and Lester were traveling down the highway one day when he told her to find something on which to write. The only thing Gladys could find was a brown paper sack. Lester began reciting the words as Gladys took dictation. That song was Be Ready for Tomorrow may Never Come.
"When we got here [Sparta], he got his guitar out at my sister's house," said Gladys. "I mean he didn't change the tune. He didn't change a word. They [songs] would just come to him like that. It was amazing."
By Kim Swindell Wood
Friday, October 8, 2010
Posted by Tom Thomas at 8:27 AM
Sparta, Tennessee will again honor its bluegrass heritage on Saturday, October 9, 2010 with the 13th Annual Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration. Sparta is the hometown of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Benny Martin, current bluegrass stars Blake Williams of The Expedition Show and Josh Swift of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Last year, during an unprecedented ceremony, the city of Sparta unveiled new city limits signs, declaring itself "Bluegrass USA" and also established the Sparta, Tennessee Bluegrass Hall of Fame, inducting Lester Flatt, Benny Martin and Blake Williams as well as local musicians John Henry Demps and Bill Jones.
In keeping with the branding of Sparta, Tennessee as Bluegrass USA while honoring the area's bluegrass heritage and annual event, city officials have commissioned a new logo for Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration. "The celebration at Liberty Square gives our entire region an opportunity to come together as one to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Lester Flatt", stated Sparta's Mayor, Jeff Young. "Lester Flatt is a name known around the world and Sparta is fortunate to have been his hometown."
W.D. Stone & Associates, a public relations firm based in Cookeville, Tennessee designed the new logo. "The logo created for Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration is intended to pay homage to the old concert prints of Lester Flatt' s era, but in a more modern design style", stated Roman Stone, owner of W.D. Stone & Associates. "Being such a legend in bluegrass music, it was only natural to include Lester's likeness in the new logo, especially considering the event was originally intended to honor him. Our design team used vintage colors and retro elements to be consistent with Sparta's historic bluegrass tradition, and to further enhance the brand that the area projects to the world. We feel the logo evokes a feeling of nostalgia while still honoring a relevant bluegrass pioneer."
Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration draws thousands to the Sparta and White County, Tennessee region annually. This year's event will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2010 on the city's square. The event will include craft and food vendors from many local businesses and non-profit organizations in the area as well as a classic car "cruise-in". At the center of the event, will be the national talent performing in front of the historic Oldham Theatre.
This year's lineup will include one of the most awarded groups in bluegrass, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, the International Bluegrass Music Association's 4-time Instrumental Group of the Year Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, hard-driving traditionalists Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramb lers and The Expedition Show which features Sparta native and past honoree, Blake Williams. Music will begin at 11:30am CST. For information on Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration, please visit www.SpartaTN.com or call 931-836-3248.
Posted by Tom Thomas at 8:22 AM
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Bluegrass music legend Curly Seckler will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Among the other inductees are Doc Watson, Andy Griffith, George Hamilton IV, Arthur Smith, Shirley Caesar, Don Gibson, and more. The ceremony is open to the public, however, as of September 10, the event is sold out. The evening will include a reception, dinner, and induction ceremony with a variety of entertainment. Several of the inductees, including Curly, will perform. For information, call the NCMHOF at: 704-934-2320, or visit: NorthCarolinaMusicHallOfFame.org.
Bluegrass legend Curly Seckler was featured in a Legends of Bluegrass set during the IBMA FanFest on October 2nd in Nashville. This week, he will return to his native North Carolina to be inducted into the NC Music Hall of Fame in Kannapolis, NC at th David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building beginning at 6:00 PM.
Seckler was born in China Grove, NC on December 25, 1919. He got his start as a professional musician over WSTP radio in Salisbury, NC in 1935. In 1939 he joined Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Pardners and moved to WWVA in Wheeling, WV. He went on to perform with several of the top first generation bluegrass bands, including Jim & Jesse, the Stanley Brothers, the Sauceman Brothers, and Mac Wiseman & the Country Boys.
In 1949 Seckler joined Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, as tenor singer and mandolin player. He was an integral part of this group during its most musically productive years. During his tenure they landed a lucrative sponsorship with Martha White Mills and a daily radio show on WSM in Nashville, became members of the Grand Ole Opry, and began a series of highly successful television programs in multiple markets across the Southeast. Seckler remained with the Foggy Mountain Boys for about twelve years, recording over 130 songs with them, many of which have become bluegrass classics.
After Flatt & Scruggs parted ways, Seckler joined Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass. Before Flatt passed away in 1979 he asked Seckler to take over leadership of the band. Seckler continued to lead the Nashville Grass for another 15 years, before retiring from active touring.
In 2004 he was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame. That same year he made a series of new recordings and began performing more frequently. His recent appearances have included MerleFest in NC, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in CA, River of Music Party in KY, the IBMA Awards Show in Nashville, and the Song of the Mountains television series on PBS. At age 90, Seckler continues to be a creative, hard working entertainer. This year he celebrates his 75th anniversary in music! 10/7/10: Kannapolis, NC - David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, 6:00 PM Curly will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Among the other inductees are Doc Watson, Andy Griffith, George Hamilton IV, Arthur Smith, Shirley Caesar, Don Gibson, and more. The ceremony is open to the public, however, as of September 10, the event is sold out. The evening will include a reception, dinner, and induction ceremony with a variety of entertainment. Several of the inductees, including Curly, will perform. For information, call the NCMHOF at: 704-934-2320, or visit: www.northcarolinamusichalloffame.org.
Posted by Tom Thomas at 10:49 AM
Friday, October 1, 2010
Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, center, appears with his sons, Gary, left, and Randy, right, as the late Louise Scruggs is inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame during the International Bluegrass Music Awards show on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn
Posted by Tom Thomas at 8:33 AM