Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Knob Noster Missouri July 23-25th

This was Herman Smith’s first attempt at a bluegrass festival.
We pulled in just before noon on Friday, and I remember Joe saying that Rual (Yarbrough) and Jake (Landers), both of whom were good friends of Bill, were going to be working that festival. Shortly after getting the bus situated, we all went in different directions, checking out the grounds. The park had only been finished a few days before; the tracks of a bulldozer were still fresh in the roadway.
We parked in a little grove of trees, not far from the entrance to the park, next to a woven wire fence. Soon other entertainers began arriving.

James Bryan, Rual Yarbrough, William Smith, and Jake Landers.

On Saturday afternoon, Joe Stuart, Rual Yarbrough, and Jake Landers were sitting along the fence singing. Jake had his guitar, and Rual and Joe were singing harmony. Jake was already known as a good songwriter and was sharing some of his latest efforts.
Joe Stuart loved to sing, and while they were singing, Bill Emerson of the Country Gentlemen walked by, on the way to the stage…he stopped, turned around, and listened for a while. A conversation ensued and he sent back to the bus for a tape recorder, on which he taped “The Secret of the Waterfall.” It was subsequently recorded by the Gentlemen for "The Award-Winning Country Gentlemen” album. He also had Jimmy Gaudreau and Charlie Waller come by and listen to some of Jake's songs. One, “My Last Request,” Charlie said he really liked. I’m sure he never recorded it, but I would have loved to hear Charlie sing that tune. He could have done it justice.

James, Rual, William, and Jake.

I enjoyed my first trip west of the Mississippi. Some other great friends that I had seen at Bean Blossom a few weeks before were there, The Calton Family. Charles and Inez had two beautiful daughters, Randie and Brenda, and I enjoyed their shows.
( In doing some internet searching my heart is heavy to find that Inez passed....I called her several years ago and she said that she was having some health problems....I asked about the girls...Brenda and Randie.....Brenda was on the radio doing a commercial as we spoke and she held the phone to the radio....She said that she was undergoing treatment......I did not follow up...I'm so sorry it took this long to follow up.... )

The Calton Family: Gordon Wilfong on banjo, Inez, Randie, Charles (hidden behind Randie), and Brenda.

After the festival, on Sunday night, we headed back to Nashville. Jack was really getting into driving. He had driven all night and, early the next morning, we were awakened by the engine racing. The bus slowed, then stopped. Everyone got up and went up front, then outside. Jack had already opened the tailgate of the coach. Joe and Kenny seemed to know what he problem was, so Joe started thumbing and went into town and, before long, he returned with a gentleman in a tow truck. We were pulled into Mayfield, Kentucky, where we spent a good portion of the day getting a flywheel pressed back on the motor. Then we headed back to "Town."


  1. I don't remember commenting on this.. This is weird. May 23 is 2 days after my birthday and today is 3 days before my birthday. Why do I keep coming here during May? And if anyone from the Calton Family is reading this what's up homies. How ya been? Lol. We out here looking up spooky stuff about a family that isn't even mine, but Inez and Charles were always sweet to me. Peace n Blessings.