Country music festival set to visit Fremont | Arts and Theatre

Country music is in Bob Everhart’s blood.

It’s all he knew while growing up in Nebraska.

From Hank Williams to Johnny Cash, country music was soothing to Everhart and its honesty attracted Everhart to performing it.

As president of the National Traditional Country Music Association, Everhart is celebrating his 70th year as a performer of traditional country music. And he wants to share his love for the music genre.

He invites everyone to the 44th National Old-Time Musical Festival that will be held Oct. 3-6 at Christensen Field in Fremont.

“One of the things I’ve been able to do for the past 44 years is to conduct a festival of what I can substantially determine is traditional country music,” Everhart said. “What I started in 1976 is still continuing under my supervision, and my wife Sheila’s management. Over the years we’ve been able to keep this event going, but sometimes also moving to a new location.”

The four-day music festival will feature three stages and over 200 scheduled performers. There will be three nights of dances.

Local, regional, national and international performers will be attending the festival.

Jeannie C. Riley, an American country music and gospel singer, will be among the performers. She is best known for her 1968 country and pop hit “Harper Valley PTA.”

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Jeannie Seely from the Grand Ole Opry also will be visiting Fremont. She has achieved No. 1 songs as a solo artist, duet partner and songwriter.

Other notable performers will include: Terry Smith, composer of Johnny and June Carter’s signature song, “The Far Side Banks of Jordan”; Joe Babcock, who starred on “Hee-Haw” and recorded “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water”; Randall Franks, known as Georgia’s best fiddler and from the television show “In the Heat of the Night”; and Gail Davies, the first female record producer in country music who also has earned 18 Top 40 Billboard hit singles.

In the 44 years that Bob and Sheila Everhart have been producing the music festival, they also have created a Pioneer Music Museum in Anita, Iowa, created America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame and America’s Old-Time Fiddler’s Hall of Fame.

“We’ve managed to coalesce these many activities under one banner,” Bob Everhart said. “This is America’s music, from the very beginning. Add to this a manifold devotion to America’s rural music the Rural Roots Music Commission, who give CD of the Year awards at our annual festival, and you can begin to see, not only why Ken Burns is interested in creating a multiple television production, but also why my wife and I have continued to pursue the elements of honesty in this music.”

Hours of the festival are 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 3-5 and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6.

Admission is $20 daily per person. Four-day passes are $70 per person. Youth ages 18 and under will be admitted free.

Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

A variety of food will be available, including: burgers, turkey legs, pulled pork, brisket, kettle corn and ice cream.

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