"I Like Mountain Music..."

Bonnie Lou & Buster...


When TV came to my hometown during the ‘50’s there was just one channel to watch, programming didn’t start until 3 o’clock in the afternoon lasting until 10 o’clock each night and every other program featured Bonnie Lou & Buster, or that’s the way it seemed to this little boy.

Being born in Bristol meant that country music was naturally in my blood, or that’s the way it was explained to me as a youngster. Of course at that time Country Music with a slight twist of Blue Grass was the only choice at all within the little lowland community I later learned to call home. Oh my sister and some of her girlfriends liked Popular Music but they were anti-establishment, if you know what I mean. Girls were silly anyway. At home we did have a couple of radios and I had seen a Victrola or record player but we didn’t have one. I heard mom and dad talking about a radio with pictures but no one that I knew of had even seen one in the early fifties. Of course by the middle of the decade things began to change rapidly. I was finally introduced to television and quickly became amazed with anything electronic and the immense possibilities of sound and pictures traveling through the air waves utterly astounded me.

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it all started here...
it all started here...

the Birds & the Bees...

Still the idea of music hadn’t meant all that much because after all, you don’t sing while you are playing ball games or while swimming. You might whistle a little while fishin’, but that was about it for the guys. Of course I had noticed girls and found they smell good and all, so about this time in my life my dad had a little talk with me. He told me that girls liked music and if I ever planned on makin’ an impression on one I needed to take a little interest in the things girls liked, like music and dancin’. It was about then that he also told me that the country music played on most radio stations and TV had its roots right here, around my hometown, Bristol Tennessee. That made me proud but I didn’t know why exactly. Dad told me of a man named Ernest (Ernie) Ford that sang a song about a mule train and how he ‘rode’ that song all the way to Nashville. My dad knew all this because Mr. Ford’s dad use to be our mail man and he and dad talked a lot. There were others from around our area that sang and dad told me that in 1927 some of the Carter family from over in the Virginia side of town had cut a record and that had helped make our hometown the home of country music.

HillBilly music tugs at the heartstrings...

Now that television had come to the hills of Tennessee we would frequently see some of these people on our TV. At first we just had one station, but after a few more years each of the Tri Cities of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City claimed their own TV station. For lack of programing it seemed that every other program was none other than our own Bonnie Lou and Buster singing the same music that had placed upper east Tennessee and southwestern Virginia on the map. The hillbilly music that tugged at the heart strings of all who heard it was now embedded in the hearts and lives of all that heard it…

© 2011 SamSonS


Comments 25 comments

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Sampsons1, I know what you're talking about. Here is a link about my bood frined Jack Branch from Bristol,Va. It was broadcast yesterday. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.w...


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I really came to like mountain music later on in life.I think I was drawn to some of it on the radio but there was an eclectic mix back in the fifties.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks dahoglund for stopping by and making your nice comments...


SusieQ42 5 years ago

I love Scotty from American Idol. Did you see him sing with Tim Mcgraw on the last show? I think Scotty was better than Tim! Yes, I love country music. AND I remember our first TV...I only only 3 or so. I thought all those wavy lines (when the TV messed up) were fish!! Silly me, silly girl...(:


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

My very favorite was Tennessee Ernie Ford. Every Sunday we would sit infront of our black and white TV and watch his show and listen to his great music.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks Susie for stopping by and making such nice comments. Talking about your first TV - remember having someone go outside to turn the antennae so the signal might come in clearer...

*and thank you Bro Dave for your fine comments. Yes Tennessee Ernie grew up less than 1/2 mile from where I did and I attended ETSU with his younger brother. You said you remember his TV show- remember him singing 'Mule Train', my dad said that he rode that Mule Train all the way to Nashville. Remember how he and other stars would always end their programs with a hymn. My, how times have changed...


Linda Myshrall 5 years ago

I spent many years on my Granparents' farm in middle Tennessee, just at the foot of the Cumberland mountains. We were busy, busy, busy but that didn't mean we couldn't make a rare and special trip into Nashville to the (original) Grand Ole Opry. I am many miles (and many years!) from that now, but you are right: the music stays in the blood. I enjoyed this very much. Up and awesome!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Ahh yes, Ernie Ford! I just saw him on an old rerun of I Love Lucy. Those days are gone, it would seem.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks Linda for your visit and for sharing your nice reminisce. Our past has such fond memories, I wonder if the kids of today will some day look back on today with the same attitude...

*and thank you my dear friend lifegate it's a shame to hear those days are gone, but that is reality...


Tammy L profile image

Tammy L 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

Sam: I liked country music even before the success of Urban Cowboy. I've got two guitars and the acoustic one is my favorite to play. I'm not real good but I'm learning. Sam's (my husband) parents used to go to small towns here in Texas where local musicians could play Bluegrass and Country Music. Before his dad passed away, we had planned to go to one of these and I was going to take one of my guitars, if not both.

Thanks for the memories.

Tammy


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Tammy for for your kindness and for sharing your nice reminisce with us. In some towns around here the musicians gather at barber shops and general stores to 'jam' when they are not to busy...


skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Fun to hear some history on hillbilly and back roots music. Brings some memories, I just can not think of thiem off of hand. I must agree with susieq, scotty from american idol has it down and He Gives Glory to God as well.

Great hub brother and nice to know a bit more about you. Keep on in Him. U will phil 4:13 Hugs Galore.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you skye2day for your gracious comments and feel free to look around a bit. You may find that I'm a believer also.

blessings...


justamber profile image

justamber 5 years ago

I like "Mountain Music" and most of my friends don't....even being from Texas. There's just something about a good country song that wants me want to roll the windows down and sing!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks so much Amber for your visit and your nice comments and you feel free to roll down the window and sing to your hearts desire...


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

I was married before I really liked country music, although there was Silver Wings and ones like that I liked but I think I got hooked on Loretta and Conway, and I liked George and Tammy too and I liked it up until Rascal Flats and since then it just isn't country anymore to me. As a kid though I did watch what you might call mountain music where they played a fiddle and steel guitar and that guy did 'Last Date' was it? Something like that. Just piano music on that one that I remember. He didn't look so old to this little girl as the others, lol.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks so much Jackie for your visit and your nice comments. I also enjoyed your nice reminisce and appreciate you sharing it here. Look around, you may just see something else that interests you...


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

I listen to bluegrass on pbs Saturday nights sometimes. They have groups from Virginia and North Carolina areas. Most are OK but some are fabulous. I love country musics blue grass gal, can't think of her name...Allyson Grouse, know I have the spelling wrong.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks so much Jackie for visiting and making the nice comments...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I love Bluegrass Music and Country Music—especially the former. My Daddy used to have jam sessions at our home when I was a boy. Maybe a dozen musicians would show up. My uncle would cook some hog shoulders for 24 hours outside on a grid over a hole in the ground. Moonshine would get passed around. And the music would go on for hours. Great memories.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hi James, always good to have you drop by and share the sweet times of our youth. Those were the days when folks would gather round to jam and the pickin' & grinin' would draw out the neighbors and the kids would all dance around barefoot- Yes, great memories...


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

Voted up and interesting...and voted yes on the music too! Was that you on the delightful piano? Great!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey frogyfish, thanks for stopping by and no, sorry, not me, but thanks for the compliment and thanks for the fine ratings...


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

But samsons1, the side view did look like you---or your brother! And it was great piano playing! Will see you again on HubPages!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

that was some 'ho-down' for sure, see ya frogy...

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