Hank Williams Birthday

Location: R.A. Fountain

From our promo for this event:

Sunday afternoon’s free Hank Williams birthday party will feature Shelby and Linda Stephenson with Shelby’s brothers Marshall and Paul, bassist Mike Langdon, and special guest banjoist Richard Hood.

The Hank Williams birthday party was the idea of poet/musician Shelby Stephenson, who with his wife Linda has released a Willliams tribute CD. The lineup for Sunday’s free show includes what is often billed in Fountain and throughout eastern North Carolina as the Stephenson Brothers and Linda, but for this event the musical emphasis will be on the great musical legacy left by Hank Williams, who was born in Mt. Olive West, Alabama, on September 17, 1923.

Shelby Stephenson plans on bringing his long-time friend and banjo picker Richard Hood of Ohio. Hood, who is one-half of the popular old time and bluegrass band the Bristol Brothers, is, like Stephenson an English Professor, at Dennison University in Granville, Ohio. Hood was named Best Bluegrass/Old Time Instrumentalist by Country Beat Magazine in 1997. He also plays autoharp, guitar, and dulcimer. One of his songs has been recorded by Jim Eanes. 

“The first time I met Richard,” Shelby Stephenson recalled, “it was at a literary gathering, but somehow music came up and then Richard got his banjo out. Well, one of the pegs on his banjo broke, so I gave him my knife and he made a new one from a piece of wood and we kept playing. We’ve been friends ever since.”

With his musical companion Don Springer, the Bristol Brothers have released two critically acclaimed CDs. They have performed on PBS and at several major university concert halls. They won Country Beat Magazine’s People’s Choice as Best New Bluegrass Duo in 1995 and in 1997 for Best Bluegrass/Old Time Group. 

Hood’s appearance is contingent on travel plans working out. [Fortunately for us, they did.]

Patrons are invited to come prepared to perform their favorite Hank Williams songs–or simply to request them. “We could use a steel guitar player, too,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proprietor.
The free Hank Williams birthday party celebration begins at 3 p.m. on September 17.

Tags: classic, Concert, country