We got in the car yesterday afternoon and I realized it was Sunday and George was probably on so I flipped the radio over to 91.1. (The Holy Tara was not pleased with this move).
My good friend of a million and two years, Traci Todd, has hosted “George, The Bluegrass Show” on WRVU at Vanderbilt for 22 years. Every Sunday afternoon, you could tune in and hear bluegrass on the radio in Nashville, Tennessee, thanks to Traci. She started doing the show in the 80′s when she was a student at Vanderbilt and kept it up all these years for no other reason than she loves the music and wanted to share it with the people of Nashville. She certainly never did it for the money.
I made the comment to the HT, when I got the tuner tuned “I can’t believe she still does this show after all these years.” It wasn’t 60 seconds later that Traci came on and said something about it being the “farewell” to George. It gave me a little pause.
I first found George back in the 80′s when I was first getting into Bluegrass. This was before Mr. Smiff, y’see. I started listening to Traci every Sunday and would even record (on tape!) the show every week to my jambox. This was during the short period between the Old-Boyfriend-I-Keep-Running-Into-Everywhere-I-Go and Mr. Smiff. It was kinda sad and dark there for awhile and that’s one of the things I always think about when I listen to George.
There are a couple songs I have really vivid memories of hearing on George that made me love Bluegrass and good pickin…one was Don Reno and Tony Rice’s version of “Freight Train Boogie.” Something else she played that I loved was Johnny Warren’s “Black Eyed Susie” that featured, unbeknownst to me at the time, Mr. Smiff on bass and the “heys and ho’s”.
Who isn’t going to miss George and every week, the playing of “The Little Girl And The Awful Dreadful Snake” after the Bluegrass announcements??? That was one of those things you could just plain depend on.
George was a wonderful, Nashville tradition that I’m a little sad to see go, however, Traci has gone above and beyond all these years keeping it up. She’s given Nashville just about the only radio outlet for Bluegrass. Hard to believe, isn’t it? A lot of performers have gotten good exposure thanks to Traci and George.
The cool thing about Traci is eventually, she and I worked together at the old CMT. We became instant pals and she was good enough to be in me and Mr. Smiff’s wedding. Traci is such a good friend. She’s one of the “True Blue’s” that will show up in your darkest hour when you least expect anybody to care. Traci is perhaps the most organized and programmed person I know as well as one of the most intelligent. (Because she’s so programmed and efficient is probably why she’s the head of programming at CMT, still, to this day).
So, for Traci….George and his friends….a big Saaaaaa-lute.