The Tom King Collection

Roanoke/Fincastle 1965

    Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe - Sept. 3
    Red Smiley, Clyde Moody, Stanley Brothers - Sept. 3 afternoon
    Stanley Brothers - Sept. 4
    Story of Bluegrass (excerpt) - Sept. 5
    Stanley Brothers, Don Reno, Clyde Moody - Sept. 5 night
    BG Stars' promos at Fincastle 1965 for Tom King Show WBLU
    More via Ferrum College's Digital Library of Appalachia

6/23/2014 - Tom explains to me

I was in college in 1965 and working part-time as a DJ at WBLU AM in
Salem, VA., when one day Carlton Haney came up to the station and gave
us some material and tickets to a bluegrass festival he was going to
stage in nearby Fincastle, VA., over Labor Day.

I borrowed the station's big AMPEX reel-to-reel tape recorder and a
large mike and went to the festival. I took along a box of my own
six inch tapes and recorded most of the festival (except on the last
day I ran out of tape).

    The late Ralph Rinzler was there from the Smithsonian
    and he taped the whole thing (he had the same
    equipment as I did, but unlimited tapes). There
    were several mikes on stage a various time along with
    our two, but I do not know to whom they belonged.

    I dragged the tapes along with me for 25 years in an
    old box, until 1990 when a fellow I knew in Salem
    mentioned that Ferrum College might be interested
    in them.

    By that time I had recognized that they might have
    some historical importance, so I gave everything I
    had to Roddy Moore, the director of the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at
    Ferrum College in Rocky Mount, VA - tapes, tickets, programs, pictures, flyers, etc.

Before I gave the tapes to Ferrum, I transferred some of the material to
cassettes (some but not all) which I kept for my personal use.

In 2009 CDs had come along and this is when I mailed the cassettes I had
to you and you kindly put them on CDs. [and now here on the web]

At the same time I contacted the Smithsonian to see if I could get them
to release the tapes by way of a record to the public for the 45th anniversary
of the First Bluegrass Festival - no luck - too many consent problems.

As of now, as far as I know, Ferrum has not put all of my material on
line. The Smithsonian has put some single songs out from the Rinzler
tapes, but not all.

I did not make the 1966 Festival. I enlisted in the US Army in
October 1965 for a three year tour during the Viet Nam Era.

Notes: Although the Osborne Brothers are listed on the poster,
Sonny told me they couldn't make the festival,
and their first festival was the next Fincastle (1966).
Tom King says: Howdy Forrester did not come to the festival.
Instead, Benny Martin came and played the fiddle, including
doing the "Orange Blossom Special" number.
- Fred

Added June 24, 2014