News from Mike -- Summer 2006

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Baby girl ("Truma Catherine") born to Clyde and Kristina Edgerton Aug. 16th. 9 lbs., 6 oz. Mother and child and dad doing great. Truma Catherine is the latest addition to the Edgerton clan, which includes older sister Catherine, and older brothers Nate and Ridley. <<< Kristina and "Tru" bab.JPG - 15544 Bytes

New MP3s

I've got two new mp3s -- "The Beautiful, the Bibulous Babylon" and "The Ballad of Frederick Fosdick". They are both from my musical BOSH AND MOONSHINE, about life in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1880's. "Babylon" is an ode to a famous cow-town in the Old West. "Fosdick" is the story of an eminent Shakespearean tragedian. For a listen or a download of either: B A B Y L O N.

There are three formats, windows media, mp3 and a Real Audio file for Babylon, and Real Audio only for Fosdick. I am new at encoding and uploading sound files, so if you have any problems downloading or listening, please let me know. As always, thanks for listening, and thanks for stopping by.

HARD TIMES is here!

hdcd.jpg - 9966 BytesRounder Records has re-issued the Red Clay Ramblers' HARD TIMES LP as a limited edition CD for their Archive series. This new HARD TIMES re-issue CD is currently available at my Store for $14.95 - this includes free shipping (to U.S. locations only).

Rounder is also going to release the RCR's CHUCKIN' THE FRIZZ (the band's tightest record, IMHO) recorded live at the Cat's Cradle in 1979, a little later in the summer. Keep your eyes peeled on this site for information about that.

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Carter Family Festival

The 32nd Carter Family Memorial Festival and Crafts Show was held Aug. 4-5, and special fans were made for the occasion featuring a photograph of the original Red Clay Ramblers and Janette taken by Cece Conway in front of the old Store building in the summer of l976. The festival this year was dedicated to Janette, and it was the first festival without her irreplaceable presence.


The Chatham Alliance for Sustainable Energy presents a movie and discussion: “Kilowatt Ours -- A Plan to Re-Energize America” on Thursday August 17th, 7.00 pm at the Horton Middle School in Pittsboro, NC -- in the Multi-purpose Room. Admission is free. The event is co-sponsored by the NC Council of Churches Climate Connection, Growing Healthy Communities, NC Fair Share, NC WARN, and Students United for a Responsible Global Environment. FMI: Tel: 837-8738

Kilowatt Ours is the story of filmmaker and conservationist Jeff Barrie's 18-month journey across the southeastern U.S. to document our energy-related problems, and explore practical, cost-saving solutions, using technologies available in retail stores today. The widespread impacts of US energy production explored in Kilowatt Ours include mountaintop removal mining, air pollution, global warming, childhood asthma, and the effects of mercury contamination on newborns.

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Overcash's Best in Show

My good buddy Clyde Overcash, local Rowan County eccentric, artist extry-ordinaire, and all around 19th century character trapped in the 21st, received a best in show award at the third annual Art Expo sponsored by Carolina Artists, in Salisbury, NC.

Overcash's painting "Mixed Flowers" was chosen from among 155 entries and more than 600 votes cast by people attending the three-day show at the Civic Center. (He said he added the Queen Anne's Lace on his way to the exhibition!)

Micheal O'Dhomnaill

Sad news has come in that Micheal O'Dhomhnaill passed away last week. The circumstances of his death are unclear, but his body was discovered at the bottom of his stairs and a heart attack is suspected. There was a big funeral in Dublin and it is reported that many friends and fellow musicians were in attendance including Martin O'Conner, Cathal Hayden, Mairead Mooney, Liam O'Flynn, Tony McMahon, all the Bothy Band (Paddy Glackin, Paddy Keenan, Triona, Donal Lunny and Matt Molloy) and of course Skara Brae minus Michael; also Joe Burke, Andy Irvine, Kevin Burke, Paul Brady, Mick Hanley, and members of Clannad, Alton, Dervish, Planxty, Tommy Peoples and Siobhan. I have such good memories of Micheal from his tours with Kevin Burke. They would stop through Chapel Hill and play there and visit his sister Triona when she was living there. We did a few festivals with them and always enjoyed Micheal's wonderful emotive voice and razor sharp guitar playing. We were all very fortunate to be graced by his talent. My heart goes out to his family, especially to Triona who has lost not only Micheal but their mother earlier this year and another brother last year.

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Future Thespians?

Who says show biz doesn't run in the family? Pictured here is my grand-nephew Will, age 2, son of April and Gerald Craver. His first cousin, my grand neice Audrey Parrish, has been taking tap and voice lessons for years and has already appeared in the MUSIC MAN, and many other productions in a youth theatre in Richmond, and her little brother Carson already plays a mean electric guitar.


I've been arranging the music for the third "installment" of smokeark.jpg - 6125 Bytes the SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN show, by Alan Bailey and Constance Ray. Mark Hardwick and I arranged the music for the first SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN. There was a second sequel, a Christmas version called SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS. Good friend John Foley arranged that one. The third is going to be called SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN HOMECOMING -- or words to that effect. It takes place in the mid l940's and follows the gospel singing Sanders Family through the changes they have endured as a result of WWII. The music is a wonderful selection of "bluegrass gospel" in the tradition of the Easter Brothers, the Louvins, the Lewis Family and the Chuck Wagon Gang. Samuel French will publish this new musical later in the summer. Productions are already scheduled for the fall.


rank.jpg - 9575 BytesRecently Clyde Edgerton and his Rank Strangers (of whom I am an honorary member) played at the James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, NC.
Kenansville is down in Duplin County "right in the middle of hog country" somebody said. It's a beautiful area of the state, however, and very prosperous looking. We had a good appreciative crowd of Edgerton fans, and Clyde outdid himself reading from his novels. Nelson Best snapped some pix with his digital camera. Here's one of Jack King, Matt Kendrick and Clyde. Since I was playing the piano I was out of the frame, but I swear I was really there!!!
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Claudine and Rod

Claudine Langille (from Touchstone) and Rod Ferrell got married August 5th in Belmont, Vt. It was a musical event, as an acoustic session kicked off the festivities Aug. 4th, at the Killarney Pub in Ludlow. A music session followed the ceremony and reception at the Oddfellows Hall Aug. 5th. The happy couple are pictured at left with musician pals entertaining.

Nyle Frank's Early 70's Reunion Bash

Nyle Frank is having an "Early 70's" Reunion from 2-5, Saturday Sept. 2, 2006 (Labor Day Weekend) at Rolling View, Falls Lake Recreation Area Shelter #13, 10 miles east of downtown Durham, North Carolina, off US 98. There will be a pre-reunion get together Sept. 1st at 6PM, in front of Silent Sam on the UNC-CH campus, and a party following at 7PM in Carrboro. For more information 408-286-2257 pr

"Lawn Mowing Aid?"

This was news to me at least. I heard it on a BBC mystery show... not the usual repository of botanical wisdom, but this show ("Rosemary and Thyme") features two canny women-sleuths who solve murder mysteries while landscaping! (It also features my new favorite British actress Pam Ferris.) In a recent episode our heroines admonished a client to "cut your grass while the moon is waning" -- and it will grow more slowly as a result. In an age of crucial environmental issues and high gas prices, this was interesting news to me. Plus I have a very big yard. If you are like me, the fewer precious summer hours spent mowing the better. I've been trying this tactic this summer and so far it actually seems to work, or else my imagination is playing tricks on me. If you'd like to give it a shot, here's a full moon chart courtesy of the Farmer's Almanac. I try to cut my grass soon after the moon has peaked and before it disappears. My chart only goes as far as October. If you want to mow your lawn in November, or if you're the type who mows obsessively, you're probably already insane! However, when I told my friend Linwood about this mowing theory he said it sounded right on par with doing crazy things like "putting an unwrapped bar of soap under the sheet to prevent the cramps" -- so maybe I'm the one who's insane!
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It is with great sadness that I note the death of Howard Rosenstone, who has been my lit agent since l987. Howard had been battling throat cancer for the past couple of years. He was a top notch theatre professional, fighting tirelessly for the rights and priviledges of many grateful directors and writers. He was also a good and compassionate friend. It sounds like an Horatio Alger story, but he started out in the mail room at William Morris and eventually was able to found and helm his own highly respected Manhattan literary agency. He had discovered a great measure of personal happiness in the last ten or so year, not to mention a beautiful farm in upstate New York. It was wonderful to hear Howard, a tough city kid, wax poetic about feeding the cows and pitching hay. He will be sorely missed by his friends and family and all the people for whom he was an essential and true advocate. obit in NYTIMES


Lenny Wolpe, who played our "O.B. Abbott" at the Pasadena Playhouse, La Mirada and Coconut Grove productions of RADIO GALS, is in the new Broadway show THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, which is up for a bunch of awards. FMI. Lenny was our Abbott on the original cast recording of RADIO GALS too. One of Lenny's more memorable and unusual turns was playing a character with Tourettes syndrome on "L.A. LAW".


The Arkansas Rep is celebrating its 30th birthday Tuesday June 27th at a special champagne performance of "A CHORUS LINE". The Rep was founded 30 years ago by group of forward thinking "Little Rockeans", including old pal Cliff Baker. Cliff left the Rep in the late 90's. but it was a great theatre and a great organization while he was at the helm. We had our world premiere of RADIO GALS at the Rep in 1993, with Cliff directing, and he's returned to the Rep to direct this anniversary show. I got to spend several happy seasons there doing other shows. I wish him and them well on their birthday. May the muses smile benevolently on another 30 years at least!

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