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Posted: January 20, 2009 5:39 p.m.

Newton performers share stage on charity recording

 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" and 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."

 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.

 The project includes familiar standards and more recent hits such as "Old Country Church," "Must Be A Reason," "Everywhere I Go," "Going Home," "When God Dips His Pen of Love in My Heart," "You’re Never Alone, Way Down Deep in My Soul," "Wagon Tracks," "Jesus Loves Me," "Have You Heard the News," "This Is the Day the Lord Has Made," "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Back Then," "Roll Back the Stone" and "In the Garden"

 The Share America Foundation Inc. is a non-profit 501-C3 that encourages youth to play the traditional music of Appalachia. The organization provides two Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarships annually to graduating seniors who excel in the artistry of Appalachian musical styles. The organization hosts Sacred Sounds Fridays, a monthly concert fundraiser, at the historic Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga. For more information, www.ShareAmericaFoundation.org and www.myspace.com/shareamerica.

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