Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Blog #1 (1-3-06)


1/19/06 UPDATE: Johnny Bellar, who was scheduled to be Roy Harper's sideman for this concert, can't make it. Art Crummer is replacing him. Art is a favorite among Florida music fans who enjoy traditional folk, acoustic blues, and old-time music. He is a multi-year first place winner of the Florida Old-Time Music Championships in the dobro, flat-pick and fingerstyle guitar categories and the male singing category. In addition to solo performances, Art has performed in various Florida groups over the years, including The Don Grooms Band and Blues Country. He is also a respected dobro/reasonator guitar teacher and appears at many state-wide festivals, including the annual Florida Folk Festival. He is honored to be playing with Roy Harper and sitting in for his Dobro hero Johnny Bellar.

WHO: ROY HARPER & JOHNNY BELLAR (Update- Art Crummer will replace Johnny)
WHEN: Fri. Jan 20, 2006. TIME: 8 pm. COST: $10.
INFO: 813-988-8188. http://www.uutampa.org/WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa (UU Dome )
11400 Morris Bridge Rd, Tampa.


Self-described ''musical dinosaur" ROY HARPER and his super sideman JOHNNY BELLAR will "invade" the Dome on Friday Jan 20th. JIM KAUFMAN & ALICE MCKAY, Pinellas Park "musical dinosaurs," will kick off this great night of old-time country music with an opening set.

Eighty year old ROY HARPER, a retired railroad brakeman from Manchester, Tennessee, has devoted his life to continuing the music traditions that he heard as a child while listening to the likes of Uncle Dave Macon, Arthur Smith, Sam & Kirk McGee, Riley Puckett and Jimmie Rodgers. Jimmie Rodgers is remembered as "the father of country music" and "the singing brakeman." Per Dr. Charles Wolfe, a music historian from Middle Tenn State University: “No one in the country does old Jimmie Rodgers songs better than Roy.”

Roy began performing professionally (singing, playing guitar and harmonica), over 50 years ago. He's still at it today, performing at numerous festivals and teaching children through Arts In Education programs. In 1999 he was inducted into the Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame. He has a huge number of awards, including the Folklife Heritage Award which he received in 2003 from the Governor of Tennessee. Roy has recorded 20 plus albums, including a series of projects for Old Homestead Records.

JOHNNY BELLAR, Roy's sideman, is a virtuoso player of the resophonic guitar (aka dobro) and the lap steel guitar. In July 2005 Johnny won the National Resonator Guitar Championship (in Todd, NC). Born and raised near Nashville, Johnny was introduced to music at an early age. From 1974 -1984 he performed with The Stoneman Family and appeared with them on TV shows such as Hee Haw, the Ralph Emery Show and the Tommy Hunter Show. He has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with Wilma Lee Cooper and is a sought after session player in Nashville. Johnny is also Roy Harper’s long-time accompanist and sideman.

JIM KAUFMAN: For many years Jim & Peggy Kaufman have hosted a weekly old-time country music circle jam session in their home. Their hospitality is widely known and appreciated. Altho Peggy is not a musician (but she makes great coffee), Jim sings and plays the harmonica and reasonator guitar and is a former first place winner in the dobro and harmonica categories of the annual Florida Old Time Music Championships.

ALICE MCKAY is a frequent participant in the circle jam sessions. Alice performs vintage country and western music. And – Oh Boy Can She Yodel! She yodels in the style of Gene Autry and Patsy Montana. In 1933 at age 9 she began singing professionally in Chicago on WLS Radio National Barn Dance. (WLS stood for World's Largest Store = Sears.) Later, as a young married woman, she gave up singing because her husband only liked classical music. In the early 70s, with a new husband who encouraged her to use her talents, she began singing again and is still going strong. She has opened for Porter Wagoner, performed with Tampa's Bluegrass Parlor Band, and has appeared at various music festivals and community events. In 1991 she made her first recording – which has been included in the Library of Congress. She is a past winner in the category of old-time singing at the Florida Old Time Music Championships.

Roy Harper jokes that he's a "musical dinosaur." Jim & Alice may sometimes do the same. But truth is, old-time country music is alive & well today; and there are many folks (young & old alike) who greatly enjoy and appreciate old-time country music and are thrilled when they get the chance to experience it . Thus, the invasion of the “musical dinosaurs” is eagerly anticipated.