Music and Stories event at Floyd Country Store to feature bluegrass and war stories Saturday
War stories, bluegrass and an old-time Roanoke country-music radio show will bring the 1940s back to life during the next “Music and Stories” event at the Floyd Country Store on Saturday, June 2 at 7 p.m.
Featured will be author Ralph Berrier Jr. and the Java Brothers bluegrass band. Berrier’s critically acclaimed book, “If Trouble Don’t Kill Me: A Family’s Story of Brotherhood, War, and Music,” tells the true story of Berrier’s grandfather and great-uncle – twin brothers Clayton and Saford Hall, whose incredible tale took them from the depths of Depression-era poverty to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to the bloodiest battlefields of World War II.
The Hall Twins grew up in a hardscrabble hamlet called The Hollow in Patrick County, where they learned to play music from their mother. They gained some renown with Roy Hall and His Blue Ridge Entertainers and were on the cusp of country music history until a little thing called World War II busted up their dreams. They fought the good fight, only to struggle mightily with their lives and careers after the war, until finally reaping the rewards of peace and redemption as old men. In fact, they played the Floyd Country Store numerous times in the later years, singing and picking the old western and bluegrass songs for people who recalled the good old days and missed them.
Berrier will read excerpts from the book, and the Java Brothers will re-create a portion of a Blue Ridge Entertainers radio show from the early 1940s, when Roy and the band played popular hillbilly tunes and host “Cousin Irving” Sharp promoted Dr Pepper like it was snake oil.
The Floyd Country Store, home of the Friday Night Jamboree, has been an important part of the Floyd community for a century now. This historical landmark is a destination along “The Crooked Road,” Virginia’s Music heritage trail, and continues to be the meeting place for traditional musicians from the area.
– Submitted by Heather Krantz, Floyd Country Store
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