Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jamboree performers walk memory lane

Chek Rippee
For veterans of the Floyd Lions Club Country Jamboree, the annual country music/blue grass concert is like a musical family reunion. The 66th annual jamboree kicked off Thursday night at the Floyd High School gymnasium with a lot of familiar faces on stage, along with one or two new faces. Long-time performers reminisced Thursday night about some of their favorite show moments. Fiddle player Chek Rippee said he played in the jamboree as a child, but it was in 2008 when he performed a tribute to his dad, Knoll Rippee, who had just passed away, that he began performing in the show as an adult. He ended up a band member the following year. “There was a little Elvis, and he would always tear the house down,” Rippee said of his favorite childhood memory of the show. “He was great. We were about the same age, and he would get up there in an Elvis outfit and shake his leg and bring the house down.” Matthew Wolfe said by far his favorite memory of the event was jamboree founding member TJ Floyd teaching him and other children how to play “Touch the Strings” in the back room of the show. “TJ Floyd used to teach all the little kids how to play “Touching the Strings,” when you play the strings up on the neck with just your fingers, and it sounds like Chinese songs. I learned that from him,” said Wolfe, who exercises the technique to this day. The Floyd jamboree has been a lifetime tradition for Linda Brown’s family, whose mother, Freda Miller, performed in the first ever jamboree with Brown herself performing in it most of her life, along with all of her children...more

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