A welcome note to readers’ response

The story two weeks ago about Dale Ann Bradley’s success resulted in a variety of responses from our readers. Some were unaware of her fame, others had followed her rise to success over the years, and one or two did know that Bell County is where she grew up and still lives.

“Great story about a great bluegrass entertainer,” one of them commented. And, “the Daily News introduced her to a new generation.”

One reader first heard of Dale Ann when he read the story. He was impressed with her international recognition and surprised that she was a Bell County native and neighbor.

He said he took his enthusiasm to the internet to listen to some of her songs. He found much more than he expected, “I was amazed that she is all over the internet.”

Incidentally, a major concert from December, 2016 is available via the internet. It was in Washington DC at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and was promoted as “A Bluegrass Concert Celebrating the Library’s Collections from Kentucky.”

It was that concert, videotaped for the Library of Congress permanent collection, that intrigued one of our readers who called it “classic bluegrass starring one of today’s super stars.”

Another reader suggested a future story that could focus on Steve Gulley, a Tri-State bluegrass star who has worked with Bradley for years. Together, they started the Cumberland Mountain Music Show which now resides at Cumberland Gap and which features Gulley, his wife Debbie, and other well-known bluegrass and country music entertainers.

And, finally, a young man who knows a lot about bluegrass music hailed Dale Ann’s composition of “Run, Rufus, Run” as true bluegrass. Why? “Because, ‘Run, Rufus, Run’ contains in a few verses and a chorus the story of our lives in the coal mining region of Kentucky,” he said. He noted “rough times for the family, the dangers faced by the miners, the need for extra income, moonshine, and running a load of ‘shine to Harlan, the ever-present revenooers, and there you have it.”

Thanks to all who took a few minutes to respond to the story. I am particularly grateful to those who introduced me to new chapters in the life of Dale Ann Bradley.

William H. Baker, native of Claiborne County and former resident of Middlesboro, may be contacted at wbaker@limestone.edu