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BLUEGRASS NEWS

JIM BURRIS RETIRES FROM GRASS STRINGS  Sicne the conception in 1975, Jim Burris has anchored stage left with his solid vocals and instrumentation for the Grass Strings.  With great sadness we announce Jim's decision of retirement.  Jim always kept us on our toes with his humor, antics and encouragement!  His sacrifices for this group and each member will never be forgotten!!
CLYDE MANESS DIES AT 80 (photo by G. Nicholas Hancock  article by Sandy Hatley)
Clyde Maness, bass player and proprietor of Maness Pottery & Music Barn in Carthage, NC, passed away on Sunday, July 31. The most recent recipient of Alan Perdue Memorial Bluegrass Music Award was 80.
“Another legend is gone,” shared Janice Perdue, mother of mandolinist Alan Perdue, who presented Maness with the award on March 8 for his contribution to bluegrass music.   Maness served the bluegrass community for 48 years, offering a weekly gathering place since 1974 for folks to come together for a covered dish meal and lots of open jamming. Many professional musicians got their start picking at Clyde’s. Clyde was a storyteller. He would drop names, relay events, and share photos from his musical escapades.   Nathan Aldridge, fiddler with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, declared, “Clyde embellished things. I liked listening to his Grand Ole Opry stories that he would tell.” Maness often told newcomers about his inspiration for starting his weekly jam. “I was at the Grand Ole Opry and I told Roy Acuff that I was going to build a music barn. He said, ‘if you build it, they will come,’ and he was right. There wasn’t church on Tuesday night so it seemed like a good time.”He not only opened his pottery shop for music, Maness fed the masses, cooking 12-14 pounds of pintos and 20 pounds of potato salad each week. There was never an admission fee, just a donation basket by the door.  He liked to talk numbers. “Sometimes there’s 100 people. Sometimes there’s 200 or 300. In 1990, it got so big we added a room.” Young and old were welcome and present at Clyde’s weekly jam. Sixteen year old powerhouse picker, Jake Goforth, stated, “I always enjoyed going to Clyde’s. We’d stay and pick for hours and he’d be there until the last person would leave. Gonna miss him and his great soul.”  Rising songstress, Caroline Owens, agreed. “I’ve had a very heavy heart since hearing of his passing. He was a local legend to many, but a friend to all. I can’t recall a single time that I walked through the doors of his pottery barn that I didn’t feel welcomed. He had a heart of gold and a passion for bluegrass. I am certainly going to miss him on Tuesday nights. His absence leaves a void that none could ever fill.”
Each week, Clyde manned the sound board as band after band took the stage while others jammed throughout the building. This week his chair will be empty, the stage quiet, and the building vacant. It is a sad end of an era in NC bluegrass music. RIP, Clyde Maness.



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PO Box 1926 Shelby, NC 28151-1926
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