MOUNTAIN VIEW — Guests will be pickin’ and a-grinnin’ when the Ozark Folk Center at Mountain View hosts the 20th annual Grandpa and Ramona Jones Banjo Weekend Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
Entertainment will begin Friday, Aug. 31, with an evening concert featuring the Jones Family and Friends.
Musicians are scheduled to include Alisa and Mark Jones, Ron Wall, Larry Sledge, Ruth McLain, Raymond McLain, Greg Davis, Danny Dozier and Greg Moody, followed by an evening tribute by Kyle Cantrell.
Mountain View proved to be Grandpa Jones and his wife’s oasis from the busier life of Nashville after his brother, Gordon, moved there. According to published reports, Jones was impressed with the town’s dedication to preserving old-time, country music.
Jones moved to Mountain View in 1979 but continued to keep a place in Nashville for the tapings of Hee Haw. A year later, he and his wife opened a dinner theater in 1980 in Mountain View.
His family performed regularly, and Grandpa Jones would join them onstage if he were in town. He fit in well with the community and even became friends with another music legend, Jimmy Driftwood.
In 1993, Hee Haw broadcast for the last time before going into reruns. Five years later, Grandpa Jones died from a series of strokes. He was 84.
Grandpa Jones’ memory lives on each year with the Ozark Folk Center’s tribute weekend.
Culminating the weekend’s events on Saturday, Sept. 1, will be an old-time banjo contest followed by an evening concert featuring American folk musician and founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John McEuen.
According to his website, McEuen has been performing since 1962, working as a magician in Disneyland’s Magic Shop as a teenager. Music soon came along, which led to his long and varied career first solo, then as a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1966.
More than 10,000 concerts and 300 television shows, throughout more than 3 million miles, with the band and as a solo performer, McEuen has pursued his passion for performing and recording.
He left NGDB at the end of their 50th year touring to focus on the demand for his solo performing and projects. He brings his guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin along with favorite NGDB songs and the stories behind them to the stage in a manner that earned the honored Best in the West Award from the Folk Alliance Organization.
McEuen has made over 40 albums (seven solo) that have earned four platinum and five gold recognition awards, Grammy nominations, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy nomination, International Bluegrass Music Association record of the year award, and performed on another 25 albums as guest artist.
He’s also produced another seven albums and 14 film scores (two Emmy-nominated shows) and more than 300 concerts throughout his career, the first in 1965 in Long Beach, California, with Bob Dylan.
The Ozark Folk Center State Park is located at 1032 Park Avenue, Mountain View.
For more information, including showtimes and admission and ticket prices, call the park at 870-269-3851, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lacy, 34, spent most of her life in the hills of Lawrence County. Today, she lives in Cave City, the home of “World’s Sweetest Watermelons,” in what’s known as the Prince Matlock house. Its former owner helped create what’s known as the Cave Courts where the city’s cave lies above the Crystal River. He fashioned his home out of the same rocks and materials that are found among the cave’s property, and she feels blessed to now be its caretaker for many more years to come.