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Country music pioneers and stars of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s Rabon and Alton Delmore are honored with a one day festival featuring live bluegrass and gospel music in their hometown of Athens, Ala. The fifth annual Delmore Days is slated for June 23, 2012 at Founders Hall on the campus of Athens State University.
Gates open at 9 a.m. with live music beginning at 11 a.m. and running continuously throughout the day. Scheduled to perform are Majestics Quartet, Ashland Main, Tilford Sellers, Dixie Bluegrass Boys, Lacey Snider and Turkey Creek Ramblers, David Russell Band, and Just Down the Road. Headlining this year’s event is John Martin and The Southern Drive Band who will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. They have been the opening act for country legends Pam Tillis, John Berry, Tony Stampley, and Chris Cagle, and also played for troops aboard the USS Harry S. Truman naval aircraft carrier. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets.
Along with live music, there will be a good ol’ trade day with arts and crafts and a variety of food vendors featuring southern festival food including pinto beans and cornbread. Noted musician David Russell will conduct a free guitar workshop beginning at 2 p.m. in Founders Hall. The workshop is designed for beginners and intermediate musicians with a goal to teach attendees a Delmore Brothers’ song. Russell is a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist who plays finger, flatpicking and slide style and has a four octave vocal range. He has appeared or toured with Doc and Merle Watson, Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dr. Hook, and many other great performers.
Gate admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children. Children five years old and under are admitted free. The annual event, held rain or shine, is sponsored by the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association. For more information, call 256.867.1438 or visit www.delmoredays.com.
Alton Delmore (1908-1964) and Rabon Delmore (1916-1952), known as The Delmore Brothers, were born in Elkmont, Alabama. They were inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. For more information on The Delmore Brothers visit www.delmorebrothers.net.