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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Saving Tunes: Bluegrass-station owner, archivists preserving collection

My dad listens to Ralph Epperson's old-time radio program every Saturday afternoon. Some of that stuff he plays is from the 1930's.

From Lisa O'Donnell of the Winston-Salem Journal:

MOUNT AIRY - Ralph Epperson's mountain music is getting a spit shine.

Epperson owns WPAQ (740 AM), a radio station that has been broadcasting the old-time string music of the Blue Ridge Mountains for more than 50 years.

In the early days of the station, national acts touring the country, as well as regional and local musicians, would stop by the station and perform a few songs for the listening audience. Epperson would record their performances on lacquered discs or reel-to-reel tapes for later broadcast.

Many of those discs and tapes were eventually boxed up and stored in Epperson's basement or at the station, where they sat untouched for many years.

In the last few months, Trish Fore from the Surry Arts Council, with the help of Epperson, has been sifting through some of that music.

"It's been over 50 years since I've heard some of it," said Epperson, 84. "It sounded amazingly good."

Earlier this year, the Surry Arts Council received a $7,500 grant from the N.C. Arts Council to take an inventory of the station's vast music holdings.


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