Friday, February 25, 2011

Ashland Kentucky August 12-15, 1971

Jack Hicks and I came to Ashland a few weeks prior to do some advertising. We put up "window cards" and visited the local newspapers in Ashland and Huntington to get some newspaper ads for the festival.

As we were going back to Nashville, we heard on the radio that J.D. Crowe was playing the Lexingtion Blue Grass Fair so we took a detour to stop by and see J.D. and the band. It had gotten dark as we parked and walked toward the midway. We asked a couple of Fayette County deputies where J.D. was performing. They said he was way over on the other side of the fair and if we wanted to ride, they needed to patrol over that way anyway.

So we got in the back seat of the deputies' car (don't ever get in the back of a deputies car willingly). We rode along a few minutes when the two deputies jumped out and ran into the crowd. Friends, there are no handles in the back seat, so there Jack and I were sitting in the back of the car, lights flashing and all sorts of people coming by and looking at us and wondering what we were in for. We found it was little use to ask anyone to open the door from the outside, so we waited. Jack was always the master of all situations. He would simply wave and grin at all who peered in to look at us. When the deputies finally came back they had new occupants that they needed to transport. All of a sudden we then felt the need to stretch our legs and we gladly walked to see J.D. and the guys.

On Tuesday before the festival, Jack and I took the bus out to the truckstop on Trinity Lane there in Goodlettsville to fill the bus with fuel and get it washed. While they guys were washing the bus, we got the ball and gloves from under the bus and were pitching baseball in the parking lot. Jack threw one long and high, and as I was walking backward, I didn't see the curb and while stumbling, the ball hit me right in the eye, giving me a good dark black shiner. Bill, Kenny, and Joe got a good laugh at me about that one.
We left Nashville on Wednesday night about midnight to go to Ashland for Bill's 2nd Annual Bill Monroe Ashland, Kentucky, Festival.
It was held at Rockdale Park. Rockdale park had an indoor stage, and across a creek and in a flat bottom land area, a wonderful outdoor stage.

There was a photo by Carl Fleischhauer included in the first Bill Monroe discography by Neil Rosenberg that didn't include me. I've always meant to ask Carl if I was cropped out because of the black eye.

Ashland was a wonderful festival. I played six shows a day there.
Jim McCown had left Sam King and The Pine Mountain Boys. Sam asked Bill if I could play banjo with his group since he hadn't found anyone yet and Bill agreed. Buck White and the Down Home Folks were on the show and Buck asked Bill if Jack could play with them. Jack and Sharon were dating at the time. Bill said "Doug can play banjo with you."

Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- Sam King and the Pine Mountain Boys started the show. I wore a white shirt. Buck White and the Down Home Folks followed. I would rush backstage and change to the light blue shirt and return to the stage. Then I had a break until I returned with the bass with the Blue Grass Boys that ended each round of performances. After having the bass neck in my hands most of the summer, the banjo neck felt like a tooth pick.

It was a wonderful time. I have a few photos that my friend Harry Bickel took as I played bass, but I'd love to find some with Sam and Buck and the girls.

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