Janet Turner’s death is a sad loss to our music community

Janet Turner and her autoharp jamming at The Floyd Barbershop on a Friday evening before later appearing in the Jamboree in 2012.

Friday Night Jamboree icon Janet Turner passed away at age 79 last week, a loss not only to her family and friends but also to gospel, bluegrass, and old-time music fans.

Turner and her autoharp could often be found at the Jamboree’s gospel hour as well as part of the dance sessions that followed on Friday nights at the Floyd Country Store. She also jammed with musicians in street jam sessions outside the country store and the Floyd Barber Shop on Jamboree nights.

When I was in a serious motorcycle accident in 2012, she and other musicians at the Jamboree would open the night with prayers for my recovery and return to the Jamboree with my cameras, I was told after I emerged from a coma. When I later thanked her, she told me that she and my mother, who died in 2012, were friends. I hadn’t known that.

Rest in peace, Janet. We miss you already.

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