Saturday morning and I’m still stuck in Illinois. I should have been back in DC a week ago and in Floyd County by now but weather and the house sale from hell have thrown all schedules into the crapper.
Yet even out here in the God-forsaken, frozen Midwest, a little bit of Floyd County comes through. Listening to the Bluegrass Channel on XM Radio this morning and heard the late Randall Hylton singing Wreck of the Old ’97.
Randall graduated from Floyd County High School a few years ahead of me and found success in Nashville as both a songwriter and singer. He died young, too young, at age 55 in 2001 but left a legacy of more than 150 songs recorded by well-known bluegrass artists like The Seldom Scene, Lester Flatt, Ralph Stanley and Mac Wiseman as well as others like Leo Kottke.
My first memory of Randall was him singing White Lightning as part of a band of high-school students in the early 60s.
You can find many of his albums on CD at County Sales, an excellent bluegrass and mountain music store owned by his sister Wanda in Floyd.