Monday, May 08, 2017

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 5/7/2017

Today was Commencement Day at the University of Connecticut, so the campus was absolutely packed with graduates, parents, friends, and family.  Parking was at a premium, so even though I knew the Bluegrass Cafe's beginning would be delayed by at least an hour for a UConn Baseball broadcast, I still made a point to arrive at UConn much earlier than I might normally arrive.  That left a good bit of pre-show time, which became reading time -- never a bad thing!  

We shared some music to start the show featuring Earl Scruggs -- the subject of the new biography I was reading while waiting for the baseball game to end.  In future weeks, our plan is to speak on-air with the authors of this book:  Earl Scruggs:  Banjo Icon by Gordon Castelnero and David L. Russell.  We'll let you know when that chat is scheduled.

The big focus for Sunday, though, was a remembrance of a great friend who died on May 2nd:  Robert Fraker.  Robert was an amazing person -- a gifted musician, thoughtful songwriter, attentive listener, a great source of encouragement for many folks, and someone who was a joy to be around.  Sometime around 1993, my brother, Dave, joined the Bear
Bear Bridge -- "The Band Who Won't Go Away"
Peru, MA - August 2010
Bridge Band
-- a western Massachusetts-based group founded around five years earlier by Robert and his wife, Lillian Fraker, as well as Dave Shaw.  Bear Bridge performed all over the Northeast, from Pennsylvania to Maine and everywhere in between.  Many of the songs they performed came from the creative and thoughtful mind of Robert, and it was several of those songs from the group's four recordings that we shared during the show today.  Even though Bear Bridge played less frequently after Dave Shaw moved to New Hampshire around 1996, they still continued to perform at least once a year at various gigs until 2015, as well as at festival picking sessions and in other groupings (such as in the Old Time Bluegrass Singers or my brother's once-in-a-while group called Tex's Troubadours).  On
Robert out front with Tex's Troubadours
Mineral Springs (CT) BG Festival - July 2015
a personal note, I will miss visiting with Robert, but am very grateful to have had so many happy years of wonderful memories, thanks to the Bear Bridge Band.  If you would like to read more about the fascinating life of Robert Fraker, please click

Hope you'll join us next Sunday for another edition of our Bluegrass Cafe.  Enjoy the week!

Amy O.

SONG / PERFORMER / ALBUM / LABEL [Request is RED; songs in BLUE composed by Robert Fraker]

  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Heavy Traffic Ahead / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / The Essential Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / Columbia
  • Flint Hill Special / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Selected Sides, 1950-1952 / JSP Records
  • Why Did You Wander / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / The Essential Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / Columbia
  • Earl's Breakdown / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Selected Sides, 1950-1952 / JSP Records
  • (It Was) Late Last Night / Stanley Brothers / Don't Cheat In Our Hometown / King
  • Are You Missing Me / Jim & Jesse / Jim & Jesse, 1952-1955 / Bear Family
  • Milwaukee, Here I Come / Jimmy Martin / Jimmy Martin:  The King Of Bluegrass / Country Music Hall Of Fame Classics
  • Afraid For What's Ahead / Bear Bridge Band / A Bluegrass Sampler / Open Road
  • I Got A Letter / Bear Bridge Band / One More Ride / Open Road
  • The Cheshire Tragedy / Bear Bridge Band / Bear Essentials / Open Road
  • Shelbyville Turnaround / Bear Bridge Band / One More Ride / Open Road
  • Like A Bird In A Cage / Bear Bridge Band / Broken Hearts & Better Times / Open Road
  • Lilacs, Lilies And Roses / Bear Bridge Band / Live Recording / no label
  • Fool's Hill / Gibson Brothers / In The Ground / Rounder
  • Country Poor, Country Proud / David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition / David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition / Self-Produced
  • Kentucky Borderline / Rhonda Vincent & the Rage / In Concert, Volume One -- All The Rage / Upper Management Music
  • Old Hickory Cane / Bob Paisley & the Southern Grass / Live In Holland / Strictly Country
  • Louisville Suite / Chris Brashear & Peter McLaughlin / So Long Arizona / Dog Boy Records
  • Comin' On Strong / Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys / One Morning In May / Rounder
  • Mansion In The Grave / Bear Bridge Band / A Bluegrass Sampler / Open Road
  • Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven / Nick Anderson & the Gospel Friends / Nick Anderson & the Gospel Friends / no label
  • I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer / Bear Bridge Band / One More Ride / Open Road
  • One More Time Let Me Tell You (About Jesus) / Big Country Bluegrass / Let Them Know I'm From Virginia / Rebel
  • They Can Only Fill One Grave / Old Time Bluegrass Singers / Plastic Heart / Open Road
  • Meet Me Over On The Other Side / Country Gentlemen / The Sugar Hill Collection / Sugar Hill
  • I'm On A Journey / Bear Bridge Band / One More Ride / Open Road
  • Blue Grass Twist / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder

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