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Posted: December 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Newton County musicians perform on "Live at the Ringgold Depot" for charity

Three Newton County artists join 16 other performers for “An Appalachian Musical Revival: Live at the Ringgold Depot” with the purpose of encouraging youth in traditional music of Appalachia.

Steel guitar pioneer Barney Miller of Covington performs "Ten Thousand Years;" Walnut Grove Bluegrass Band, including Kevin "Bear" Adams, Allen Russell, John T. Rice, John E. Rice, and Jacob Rice, perform "Old Country Church," and John E. Rice, 2007 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship recipient, joins Randall Franks and Walnut Grove Bluegrass Band for "The Glory Train."

"It was wonderful to be part of this project but more so to honor the memory and continuing legacy of two dear friends through this program," Miller said.

The new fundraising CD from the Share America Foundation,  includes 23 recordings, over an hour of music; live from the stage of the Ringgold Depot in Georgia, a 159 year-old train station that played a role in the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase. It is available at www.ShareAmericaFoundation.org and various outlets.

“We are so excited that all of these talented performers would give their time and energies to further the organization’s purpose of encouraging young musicians who are continuing the traditional music of our region,” said Share America Chairman Joe Turner.

The project is currently on the first round Grammy ® ballot among the top 34 releases up for Best Southern, Bluegrass or Country Gospel Recording of 2008.

Barney Miller's "Ten Thousand Years, " Rice and Franks' "The Glory Train "are up for Best Country Instrumental. Walnut Grove Bluegrass Band's "Old Country Church" joins several other cuts up for Best Gospel Performance and  “In the Garden” by Randall Franks and Voices Won being one of two gospel performers’ to be included in the top 40 country collaborations of the year up for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.

The Share America Foundation presents the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship each year to young musicians who continue the traditional music of Appalachia.

Actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” leads the cavalcade of Southern music stars who graciously gave their times and talents for the effort.

“I want to thank all these wonderful performers who gave their best to create a project that anyone who loves music will enjoy,” he said. “I was blessed to have two wonderful parents who supported my musical hopes and dreams to share my songs and fiddling. It is my honor to now share their legacy of encouragement with youth from around our region.”

Among the other performers sharing their talents are Four Fold, Buddy Liles, The Marksmen Quartet,  The Smoky Mountain Boys, The Southern Sound Quartet, The Testimony Quartet, Voices Won, The Watkins Family, Calvary Strings, Brady Hughes, Mt. Peria Baptist Church Male Chorus, Ringgold United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and 2007 Scholarship recipients Deborah Taylor and Garrett Arb.

The production shares the atmosphere of an old-time radio show presented live for an audience including music brimming with the enthusiasm of the stage brought by a live audience, comedy routines, and homespun comments by Franks and the guests.

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