I spoke with Craig Wilson down in Bakersfield this morning and he shared with me that Friday night at the Cardinal Tradition concert a special acknowledgement will be made in the memory of Gary Young. It’s not surprising that most haven’t heard that name; Gary’s influence on bluegrass in the Southern San Joaquin Valley was nearly always exerted behind the scenes. It was Gary who first had the idea for producing a bluegrass concert as part of the Great 48. From our first year until last year Gary produced the 48 concerts…all of them succeeded, and never one dime went to Gary. All proceeds for all the concerts went to Kern County charitable operations.
Gary Young died last year not long before the last of his 48 productions; he’d had chronic health issues, but no one saw his sudden demise coming. Jack Pierce, our GREAT 48 Jam manager, limped through final preparations for the show and we succeeded in bringing it off and making back our costs. But Gary was sorely missed.
So, here’s the deal 2018 48 attendees. Jack and I lobbied the board of directors like crazy to be allowed to do a CBA-produced concert this year. The board’s initial reluctance was understandable; the G-48 is the ONLY Association event that was designed and has been maintained as a “revenue-neutral” activity. Gary Young took the risk each year, not the CBA. Over the years some costs for the 48 have accrued, but we’ve eaten those costs because of the importance of the event and its focus on bringing together the entire California bluegrass community. Adding to that encumbrance the dollars risked on producing a concert, obviously without any guarantee of recouping the investment, was a tough sell, but we did it.
So now fellow pickers, Jack and I are here to ask your support in this very critical first year. Please consider attending the Cardinal Tradition concert this coming Friday night. David Parmley hasn’t lost one bit of his gorgeous lead voice and he’s got a stunning crew behind him. And add to that the fact that your purchase of a ticket would most certainly help make a success of this first venture into producing the 48 concert. Yes, you come to Bakersfield for the jamming…Jack and I do to. But I’m guessing you also have a pretty big interest in seeing that this, our second largest undertaking after the FDF, remains healthy and viable.
Tickets can be bought on line or at the event.
See you in a few days. And don’t forget to come to our Welcome Reception in the Presidential Suite on Thursday night. Deb Livermore and I will be red-carpeting that event. Oh, the glamour…