News

2018 Festival ~ Press Release 

Larry Sparks and Ralph Stanley II to Headline 2018 Stringbean Bluegrass Festival

TYNER, KY (June 7, 2018)   — The 22nd Annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival will be held Thursday, June 14 to Saturday, 16, 2018, at Stringbean Memorial Park in Tyner, KY. 

Celebrating its 22nd year, the festival honors Jackson County native and beloved Grand Ole Opry star David ‘Stringbean’ Akemon.  His unique stage attire, traditional claw hammer banjo style, and entertaining stage banter endeared him to fans around the world. 'The Kentucky Wonder' was best known for his musical comedic performances on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry beginning in the 1940’s and on the television series “Hee Haw” until his tragic death in 1973. 

David 'Stringbean' Akemon was recently inducted posthumously into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. 

With a rich history and beautiful locale at Stringbean Memorial Park, the festival has hosted the biggest stars in Bluegrass including the legendary Ralph Stanley who headlined the inaugural event in 1996.  Other celebrated Bluegrass royalty brought in by festival founder Phillip Akemon include the Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent, 15-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs, Hall of Famers Del McCoury and Doyle Lawson, and 27-time IBMA Award winning band Blue Highway. 

Hall of Famer Larry Sparks will headline the 2018 event, along with Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys.  Also appearing are local favorites Laurel River Line and theLetterbox Boys, along with festival host Phillip Akemon and his band FlatLick. 

Nineteen bands overall will perform at the three-day event, including Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer, Sammy Adkins & the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys, Felix Brock & Gospel Harmony, Gray Hawk Boys, Bear Branch Bluegrass, Danny Lee Davis, Sunrise Ridge, Rounder's Spirit, McLain Family, Gary Strong, Joe LeMay & Sherri Reese, Crystal Water Band, and Southland Drive with Bluegrass Express WCYO 100.7 FM radio host Charlie Hall on banjo. 

Ticket prices are $20 per day, or a Big 3-Day Pass for $55. Camping with electric is $25 per day, while Primitive Camping is Free with a festival ticket.  All may be reserved at www.StringbeanPark.com. 

A Church Service will also be hosted at Stringbean Park on Sunday, June 18, at 9:30 AM. Gospel music and a speaker will be featured at the Free Event, with everyone warmly welcome to attend. 

For Directions, Daily Schedules, Tickets, Camping, and Official Festival Flyer,  please go to www.StringbeanPark.com

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Press Release courtesy: 

Sherri George ~ Tour Manager and Publicist, Blue Highway

 

Hall of Fame Induction ~ Press Release 

David 'Stringbean' Akemon Inducted into Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

RENFRO VALLEY, KY (May 22, 2018) --  David 'Stringbean' Akemon, a legend in country music who rose from humble beginnings in Annville, was honored posthumously as the newest member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on May 11, 2018. 

David 'Stringbean' Akemon, Dale Ann Bradley, Jason Crabb, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jackie DeShannon, and Bobby Lewis were honored as 2018 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Inductees for  at a ceremony held on Friday, May 11, at Renfro Valley's New Barn in Mt. Vernon, KY. 

Gathering first at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on May 10 for a private dinner and unveiling of Hall of Fame displays,  the new Inductees and their families watched as the spotlight shone brightly again on Stringbean Akemon, who rose to world-wide fame as a star of the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw television series. 

The Induction Ceremony at Renfro Valley on May 11 featured performances by new Inductees, as well as Phillip Akemon,  his son Phillip Wayne, and grandson Jordan, who performed three of Stringbean Akemon's lighthearted songs, including "Run, Rabbit, Run." 

"String would be tickled to death about his Hall of Fame Induction, and it was a great honor for me to receive his trophy for him," said his nephew Phillip Akemon. 

"When Porter Wagoner asked Grandpa Jones what he thought String would think of his statue in Stringbean Park, Grandpa said he thought String would be tickled to death. And I think he'd say the same about the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame." 

David Akemon grew up in Annville, crafted his first banjo from a box and string, and traded two prized Bantam chickens for his first real banjo at the age of 12. 

Talent contest judge Asa Martin called the lanky young man 'Stringbean' when he forgot David's name while introducing him a few years later, and the nickname stuck. 

Stringbean also loved baseball, and met Bill Monroe while playing semi-pro baseball. Akemon became a member of Monroe's legendary Bluegrass Boys, and played with the Father of Bluegrass from 1942-45.  Earl Scruggs followed in Akemon's footsteps at banjo for Monroe when Stringbean left to get married and form a comedy duo.  Stringbean teamed with Grandpa Jones in 1946, and a lifelong friendship was born.  Akemon cut the first of his seven solo albums in 1962 called, "The Kentucky Wonder and His Five String Banjo." 

Stringbean became a treasured regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw until his tragic death in 1973. 

He and wife Estelle loved the simple life, living in a cabin on a farm in Ridgetop, north of Nashville, with a color television set and a Cadillac as their only expensive luxuries. 

Akemon loved fishing in the Rockcastle River, and hunting squirrel, quail, and rabbit. 

Glistening under bright lights at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Stringbean's prized Stevens double barrel shot gun is on display, along with his overalls, shirt, hat, and mint copies of his records. 

Stringbean Akemon's display can be viewed Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum, 2590 Richmond St, Mt. Vernon, KY. 

For more information about Akemon and the Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival and Park, please go to www.StringbeanPark.com

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Press Release courtesy:  

Sherri George ~ Tour Manager and Publicist, Blue Highway

 

 

2017 Festival Press Release 


Stringbean Festival Announces 21st Annual Festival Lineup

Larry Sparks, Ralph Stanley II, Dave Adkins, and Shawn Lane to Headline 2017
Event

TYNER, KY (May 2, 2017) -- The stars scheduled to shine in the headlining spots of Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival this Summer were announced today, as the Jackson County, Kentucky-based event kicks off its 21st annual festival on Thursday-Saturday, June 15-17, 2017, at Stringbean Memorial Park at 1410 Oak Grove Church Road in Tyner, KY. 

Headliners for the festival include Hall of Fame member Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers; Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys; Eastern Kentucky's own Dave Adkins, whose last album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart; and Shawn & Gracie Lane of Grammy-nominated super group Blue Highway.   Also appearing are Sammy Adkins & the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys, local favorites Laurel River Line and the Letterbox Boys, along with festival host Phillip Akemon and his band FlatLick. 

At least 18 bands will perform at the three-day event, including the Fritts Family, Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer, Bear Branch Bluegrass, Wilderness Road, the Campbell Mercer Family, Archie Campbell's son Phil Campbell, and Southland Drive featuring Richmond’s Bluegrass Express Radio Host Charlie Hall on banjo. 

The annual festival honors Jackson County native and beloved Grand Ole Opry star David ‘Stringbean’ Akemon.  His unique stage attire, traditional claw hammer banjo style, and entertaining stage banter endeared him to fans around the world. ’The Kentucky Wonder’ was best known for his musical comedic performances on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry beginning in the 1940’s and on the television series “Hee Haw” until his tragic death in 1973. 

With a rich history and beautiful locale at Stringbean Memorial Park, the festival has hosted the biggest stars in Bluegrass including the legendary Ralph Stanley who headlined the inaugural event in 1996.  Other celebrated Bluegrass royalty brought in by festival founder Phillip Akemon include the Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent, 14-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs, Hall of Famers Del McCoury and Doyle Lawson, and 26-time IBMA Award winners Blue Highway. 

Stringbean Park has launched a vibrant new website complete with an On-line Store for Tickets and Camping at www.StringbeanPark.com

Early Bird Discounts on single-day tickets and a Big 3-Day Pass have been extended until May 15. 

Regular ticket prices after May 15 will be $20 per day, or a Three-Day Pass for $55. Camping with electric is $25 per day, while primitive camping is Free with a festival ticket. 

A Church Service will also be held for the first time at the festival on the morning of Sunday, June 18. Gospel music and a speaker will be featured, with everyone welcome and the time TBA. 

A complete daily schedule and list of performers will be posted soon on the new website at www.StringbeanPark.com

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Press Release courtesy:

Sherri George
Agent, Tour Manager, and Publicist, Blue Highway


 

Bluegrass Stars to Shine at 21st Annual Stringbean Festival 

Bluegrass Stars to Shine at 21st Annual Stringbean Festival

TYNER, KY  (June 6, 2017) -- Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival kicks off its 21st annual event with international Bluegrass stars shining brightly on the Stringbean Park stage on Thursday-Saturday, June 15-17, 2017, in Tyner, KY. 

Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys headline on Thursday, with Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer, Bear Branch Bluegrass, and the Gray Hawk Boys, and Second Wind Bluegrass among the bands appearing. 

Hall of Famer Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers co-headline with the award-winning Blue Highway's Shawn & Gracie Lane on Friday, with Archie Campbell's son Phil Campbell, Wilderness Road, and the Fritts Family also appearing. 

Dave Adkins Band headlines on Saturday, with Laurel River Line, Southland Drive, the Campbell Mercer Family, Phil Campbell, the Letterbox Boyx, and Phillip Akemon & Flatlick among the bands also appearing. 

Jackson Countians are likely familiar with the famed Ralph Stanley II and Hall of Fame member Larry Sparks, but may appreciate a run down on Shawn Lane and Dave Adkins.  Lane and Adkins are nationally recognized, but are appearing for the first time at Stringbean Park.

Shawn Lane is a fan-favorite vocalist, instrumentalist, and songwriter who was nominated as 2015 IBMA Songwriter of the Year.  The 26-time IBMA Award winning Blue Highway's heralded lead and tenor singer is as explosive on fiddle as he is on mandolin, often lending his talents to the Grammy-winning Earls of Leicester when not on the road with Blue Highway.  Lane's solo album "Mountain Songs" was named the #19 Bluegrass Album of the Year by Bluegrass Today's Daniel Mullins in 2014, while his first solo album "All For Today" was named one of CMT's Top Ten Bluegrass Albums of the Year 2003. 

Lane was a member of the bands of both 13-time Grammy-winner Ricky Skaggs and Hall of Famer Doyle Lawson prior to becoming a founding member of supergroup Blue Highway in 1994.  Shawn has even been honored with a signature mandolin named after him, crafted by Dearstone Mandolins of Blountville, TN.

Shawn will appear with his beautiful wife Gracie, and sons Grayson and Garrett, at Stringbean Park on Friday, June 16, at 6:20 pm and 8:40 pm, just prior to Larry Sparks closing Friday's show at 9:30 pm.

Dynamic performer Dave Adkins' most recent Bluegrass Album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Chart, with his newest release in Spring 2017 being his first All Gospel Album.  Dave started in the Country genre, serving as a disc jockey on WBHR-FM in Pikeville, and performing at Dollywood, before landing a recording contract with Atlantic Records at the same time John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, and Neal McCoy were charting mega hits with the label in the 1990's. 

Dave splashed onto the Bluegrass scene in 2010, immediately winning friends and fans with his big heart and vocals to match.  Legend Ralph Stanley once gave Dave one of his most cherished compliments, patting his arm and saying, "That boy can sure beller out a song, can't he?"   Dave earned a 2013 SPBGMA Nomination as Male Vocalist of the Year / Contemporary, as well as a 2015 IBMA Nomination as Emerging Artist of the Year with good buddy Edgar Loudermilk, with whom he released a duo album. 

Adkins newest project "Come to Jesus" on Mountain Fever Records has been heralded as a "turbo-charged, blow the roof off the church, vocal dynamite packed force" by Sherri George, who penned the liner notes for the album. 

The Dave Adkins Band will appear at Stringbean Park on Saturday, June 17, at 9:10 pm, just prior to Laurel River Line closing Saturday's show at 10:00 pm. 

The 21st Annual Stringbean Festival will also host its first ever Church Service on Sunday, June 18, at 9:30 am.  With beautiful gospel music and speaker Barry Spurlock, the free service is scheduled to end in time for local families to attend their own home church services afterwards. Everyone is welcome, and warmly invited to attend. 

Full event schedule and tickets are available at www.StringbeanPark.com.

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2016 Festival Press Release 


Stringbean Festival Celebrates 20th Anniversary

GRAY HAWK, KY  (June 13, 2016)  — The 20th Annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival will be held Thursday-Saturday, June 16-18, at Stringbean Memorial Park in Tyner, KY. 

Celebrating its 20th year, the festival honors Jackson County native and beloved Grand Ole Opry star David ‘Stringbean’ Akemon.  His unique stage attire, traditional claw hammer banjo style, and entertaining stage banter endeared him to fans around the world. ’The Kentucky Wonder’ was best known for his musical comedic performances on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry beginning in the 1940’s and on the television series “Hee Haw” until his tragic death in 1973. 

With a rich history and beautiful locale at Stringbean Memorial Park, the festival has hosted the biggest stars in Bluegrass including the legendary Ralph Stanley who headlined the inaugural event in 1996.  Other celebrated Bluegrass royalty brought in by festival founder Phillip Akemon include the Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent, 14-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs, Hall of Famers Del McCoury and Doyle Lawson, and 26-time IBMA Award winning band Blue Highway

Hall of Famer Larry Sparks will headline this year’s anniversary event, along with Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys.  Also appearing are local favorites Laurel River Line and the Letterbox Boys, along with festival host Phillip Akemon and his band FlatLick. 

Eighteen bands overall will perform at the three-day event, including the GrayHawk Boys, Bear Branch Bluegrass, Crimson Cross, the Morehead Bluegrass Student Band, Sammy Adkins & the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys, and Southland Drive with Richmond’s Bluegrass Express Radio Host Charlie Hall on banjo. 

A complete schedule and list of performers can be found at www.StringbeanPark.com.  Ticket prices are $15 per day, or a Three-Day Pass for $45. Camping with electric is $25 per day, while primitive camping is Free with a festival ticket. 

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Press Release Courtesy:
Sherri George
Publicist & Tour Manager, Blue Highway

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