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Old-time country music fest returns to Le Mars this month

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Many musicians at the National Old-Time Music Festival find time to join together in jam sessions throughout the week-long event. The festival will run Aug. 27-Sept. 2 at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars.
Old-time country music will fill the Plymouth County Fairgrounds Aug. 27-Sept. 2.

That's when Bob and Sheila Everhart, of Anita, bring the 37th Annual National Old-Time Music Festival to Le Mars.

The festival brings bluegrass, country and folk music to 10 stages at the fairgrounds, with musicians coming from across the country and around the world.

"It's amazing to see the number of acoustic musicians and music-makers that spend the entire week with us," Bob Everhart, president of the National Traditional Country Music Association, said in a press release.

During the week, the Everharts induct musicians into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.

This year, country singer Lynn Anderson is one of the performers set for induction into the hall of fame.

Everhart notes that Anderson's "Rose Garden" hit won a Grammy. She was one of the most popular and successful country singers in the 1970s.

"What we are about, as music preservationists is the 'kind' of country music Lynn was doing back in the '70s and is still doing today, even though main-stream country music has changed the format and the content of what we hear called country music today," said Everhart in a news release.

Anderson's induction is set for Saturday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.

Others set to be inducted in the hall of fame include:

* Ed Bruce, who wrote the song, "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," recorded by Willie Nelson.

His induction will be held Friday, Aug. 31.

* Sharon Mescher of Halibur, who plays the bones, a percussion instrument made from the the rib bones of a cow. She is part of the group, "Meschers Bones" which has performed each year at the country music fest in Le Mars.

* The late Minnie Pearl, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year and a member of the Grand Old Opry.

Everhart indicated he hopes to get the crowd to yell Minnie Pearl's signature greeting, "howwdeeeee."

* Michael Martin Murphy, representing the cowboy segment of the audience, according to Everhart.

Over the years, the Everharts have maintained their belief that there should be a place for those who like their music acoustic, non-digital, a one-on-one experience between an artist and an acoustic musical instrument, a release said.

"It is for these same reasons that celebrities come from around the world to not only support what we do saving America's great rural music, but also how we present it," Everhart said.

Many musicians make their way to the festival year after year, along with a number of new faces.

In past years, the music fest has brought other well-known country musicians to Le Mars, including Bill Anderson, Patti Page and Jim Ed Brown.

Sheila Everhart indicates the festival has booked a number of bluegrass groups this year. The groups, with descriptions by Sheila, include:

* The Jacob Austin Band from Texas;

* Bluegrass Playground from Nebraska;

* Bruce Bernhart (a fantastic mandolin picker), from Minnesota;

* Ronnie Dean from Tennessee;

* Jack Ferguson (perhaps Iowa's best Dobro player) from Iowa;

* Crystal River from Oklahoma;

* I-35 Bluegrass Band from Missouri;

* Froemming Family Bluegrass Band from Minnesota;

* Jake Simpson (an incredible fiddler from Oklahoma);

* Highway 52 Bluegrass Band from Iowa;

* Scotty Howard (another fantastic Bluegrass guitarist) from Oklahoma;

* Richards Family (this family has 13 children playing Bluegrass) from Nebraska;

* Jim & Dave (an old time Bluegrass duo) from West Virginia;

* Kenaston Family from Nebraska;

* One on the Mountain from West Virginia;

* Ophoven Family Band from Minnesota,

* and the "put together" bands that eventually work their way to stage time, according to Shiela.

Musicians are on stage from 9 a.m. to midnight each day.

Admission is by a week's wristband pass or a daily ticket and may be purchased at the gate, according to the Everharts.

Camping is available on the fairgrounds.

More information about this old-time music festival is available at their website www.ntcma.net

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Would it be possible to post a schedule of when which performer will perform on which stage?

Also the scheduled times that are set aside for the each award and on what stage?

-- Posted by lnthoma on Tue, Aug 27, 2013, at 7:08 PM

Much of that information can be found on the festival's website, http://ntcma.net. You can also stop by the fairgrounds and pick up a schedule.

-- Posted by aerickson on Wed, Aug 28, 2013, at 9:56 AM

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