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Granville Heritage Day to feature bluegrass festival

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Uncle Jimmy Thompson stands beside a T Model Ford truck given to him by Henry Ford. SUBMITTED

The 19th Annual Granville Heritage Day on May 27 will again feature the Uncle Jimmy Thompson Bluegrass Festival.

One of the first performers on the Grand Ole Opry, Uncle Jimmy Thompson was a native of the Granville community in Jackson County. He was a noted fiddle player who once performed for Henry Ford in Texas. Ford then asked him to come to Detroit to perform for the President of the United States. Thompson accepted the invitation and, afterwards, Ford told him to pick any automobile in the plant. Thompson chose the Ford truck, added a camper to it and traveled the country playing his fiddle and telling the story of the Opry.

The Uncle Jimmy Thompson Bluegrass Festival will include a new competition this year, the Grand Champion Fiddle Competition. The winner of the competition will play center stage at the birthplace of country music during a Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Night at the Ryman Auditorium. Registration for the event will be on Saturday, May 27, from 10 until 11 a.m. at the Pruett Stage in Historic Granville. Each contestant will perform three songs: breakdown, waltz and fiddler's choice. The entry fee is $5, and the first-place winner will receive $225; second place will receive $175 and third place will receive $125. To learn more about the competition, call Sam Stout at (931) 265-5811 or Mike Singleton at (615) 202-8383. The show is made possible by Bates Ford of Lebanon, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, WSM Radio and Friends of the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour.

Bluegrass bands will also perform during the day, starting at 10 a.m. with Old Way Out Bluegrass Band, Giri & Uma Peters and Tom Brantley & Missionary Ridge. At noon, the festival will honor Granville native and fiddle player Eldon Burgess. The weekly Sutton Ole Time Music Hour Dinner Show will feature Tom Brantley & Missionary Ridge with dinner at 5 p.m., music beginning at 6 p.m. and a radio taping at 7 p.m. For reservations, call (931) 653-4151.

Granville Heritage Day will also feature a large antique car, tractor and engine show, crafts, craftsmen, children's entertainment and rides, a parade and great food. To learn more, visit

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2017, Bluegrass, festival, Granville, Heritage Day, Uncle Jimmy Thompson
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