BGCS Newsletter Vol. III #3, June 10, 2020
All Things Bluegrass Country Soul -
Past, Present and Future!
Welcome Friends of BGCS,
During these trying times, we look to our favorite music to help us maintain our sanity and calm. It can bring wonderful memories of better times to the forefront, and with luck, we will be better able to cope with and process the present. Here’s hoping it will be safe to open bluegrass festivals soon.
With this issue, we are beginning a series of newsletters that will lead up to the 50 th anniversary of Carlton Haney’s 1971 Labor Day festival in Camp Springs, NC. In upcoming newsletters, you’ll see video interviews with bluegrass artists from the box set, read about the people behind the scenes who made it possible, and read many of the reviews from bluegrass fans. There will always be news and photos, as well.


Albert Ihde Ellen Pasternack
Producer/Director Executive Director
International Box Set Sales Begin
We have been thrilled by the enthusiastic response of folks to the deluxe, first edition of the box set. We are especially encouraged by the international interest we’ve had, and are proud to announce the first agreement for overseas distribution - to Japan! The box set marks the first time that Bluegrass Country Soul has been sold overseas and we are honored that B.O.M. Services, Ltd. (Bluegrass & Old Time Music) will now handle all Japanese orders. This company is headed by none other than Toshio Watanabe, who is seen in Bluegrass Country Soul as a member of the famous Bluegrass 45. More about this in future issues.
Festival Audience, Camp Springs, NC 1971
Our First Customer Review
One of the very first customer comments we received after the release of the box set came from Tom in North Carolina. Here’s what he had to say online:
“A Legendary Festival Seen in All Its Original Glory”
1971 was a big year for bluegrass music. There were lots of great festivals. One that stuck out above the rest was Carlton Haney's Labor Day Weekend Festival in Camp Springs, North Carolina. For those of us who were there, you never forgot it. But for those who couldn't be there, there was the movie Bluegrass Country Soul.  It captured the 3-day festival in living color for the big screen. After a few months in theatres and drive-ins, it drifted into bluegrass history.

Now, the movie is in a brand-new box set, on both a Blu-ray and standard DVD, with as good a digital quality as you would want. It has many "Special Features" like interviews with several artists, who were at the festival, and a double CD of direct from the stage tapes of 7 bands. But the jewel in the new set is the 168-page big book about the festival. That to me is worth the price alone.
Bill Monroe was not there, by choice. But his music was there, and his former Blue Grass Boys were there (14 of them, I counted), which helped to make this a legendary festival, and it can now be seen in all its original glory.

This festival marked the start of playing Traditional Old Grass along with what would become New Grass. Sam Bush said it best: “This was the weekend it all changed.”

With this box set, new generations of bluegrass musicians can understand both the importance of the 1st generation of artists and the relevance of the 2nd generation, who were just starting out. Viewing the movie and reading the book tells you not only all you need to know about Camp Springs 1971, but also its importance in bluegrass music history. 
– Tom Isenhour, North Carolina
Video Previews
In November, we caught up with Sam Bush in Boone, NC, just after his sound-check and prior to a sold-out performance. We had a wide-ranging interview, and his thoughts about the 1971 festival in Camp Springs tie in with the first customer review, above.
Special Thanks to Mike Ihde
There are lots of people we wish to thank in fuller fashion than the final credits of our film allow. One person stands at the top of the list. Now, you may think we’re putting him here because he’s Albert’s brother, but it is precisely because he is his brother that Mike stepped forward to assist us at the very start, when help was needed most. Thank you, Mike!
Mike Ihde: Backer, Composer, Graphic Designer, Consultant, Musician
Mike and Albert worked together on Albert's very first movie. Mike co-starred in Death of a Killer , a 3-minute, 8mm opus, made with the Myrtle Avenue Movie Club in Nutley, NJ. Albert was 12 and Mike was 9. Mike’s professional career took him to Boston and the Berklee College of Music. After graduation, he taught guitar there until his retirement last year. Over the years, he has composed and performed scores for several of Albert's films, most famously for the PBS Special The Sun Dagger in 1982, which was narrated by Robert Redford. PBS was also where he was seen playing his pedal steel guitar with Joan Baez and the Boston Pops, conducted by John Williams at Symphony Hall.
When we first told Mike about our proposal to donate an archival copy of the film to the bluegrass museum, and to make a commemorative box set, he responded enthusiastically. He approached the challenge from the perspective of both a music educator and a professional musician.
At the very start of the newly restored movie, you’ll hear Mike's “Tuning Tune” under the first production acknowledgements. When you watch the “Special Features,” you’ll hear music he composed for the featurettes “The First Bluegrass Movie” and “Video Interviews 2019, Parts 1 & 2.” Mike’s contributions have been both large and small. When our logo was first designed in the early ‘70s, one of the band members was missing a leg. Mike noticed and fixed it.
Readers may be interested in a few of Mike’s books: Country Guitar Styles , Rock Guitar Styles , and The 333 Book – 333 Licks, Tricks, and Techniques Every Guitarist Should Know . They are available through his website, .
Were You There?
Often, we hear from folks who were at this legendary festival. If you have a story you’d like to share, or a photo, we’d love to hear from you and include you on our website or in one of our newsletters.
Please pass along our web address to everyone you know who loves bluegrass music:
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