Category Archives: Country Western Music

Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs


Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass


I never met Earl Scruggs, but I was always a big fan. His passing is quite a loss. No one did more for the popularization of the banjo than that wonderful performer.

In 1977 I opened for Lester Flatt at Tombstone Junction in Kentucky. The youngest member of the band and I hung out all day–that was mandolin player Marty Stuart kneeling on the lower left.

What a great band that was!

Pop Haydn at Santa Clarita

This video is from the 2011 Cowboy Festival. I have performed at this festival since 2005. Magill and I love it and always have a great time.

I will be appearing once again at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival held this coming year on April 19 – 22, 2012 at Melody Ranch Movie Studio.

I will be performing just on Saturday and Sunday at the Medicine Show Stage, along with Professor Dave Bourne and the incredible John Reynolds. I will be doing some magic and pitching the Amazing Miracle Oil.

It is a wonderful festival, with lots to see and do. It is great for the kids, with farriers, leathersmiths, rope spinners, campfire cooks, and other demonstrations of the skills of the range, as well as cowboy poetry readings, and lots and lots of cowboy music. There is great food to eat, and the ambience is wonderful–it is the set of the HBO show Deadwood. It is a wonderful place to come dressed up in Old West duds and take photos. Steampunk is welcome.

Pop at Melody Ranch

Pop Haydn at Melody Ranch

Karin McKechnie, Pop Haydn, Jan Harness at Melody Ranch

Karin McKechnie, Pop Haydn, Jan Harness at Melody Ranch

For more information about the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, go here:

25,760 views of Medicine Show Band:

I had not checked in a long time, but just noticed that my video of Professor Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show Band had hit over 25, 760 views.

This is great!

Dave Bourne is one of the finest Old Time musicians around, and his band has incredible players. They appear on our Post-Modern Medicine Show, of course, as well as in our Radio-Medicine Show, our Old Time Internet Hour, and at every Soapy Smith Night at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Dave was the piano player at the Gem Saloon in HBO’s Deadwood, and created a lot of the music for that show. Dave started out playing piano in 1958 at the Calico Saloon at Knott’s Berry Farm.

He played bass for the Wagonmasters, a cowboy band that played ar0und the campfire at the Wagon Camp at Knott’s from 1955-1968.

You can find out more about Professor Dave Bourne and the Medicine Show Band, and purchase CDs at

Good Time at the Fiddlers Convention

Fiddlers Convention

Old Time Fiddlers' Convention and Festival -- Goleta, CA

Magill and I had a great time in Goleta, California today at the Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival.

This was the 40th of these festivals, and the weather was perfect–sunny but not hot, and slightly breezy.

The Old Time and Bluegrass music was so wonderful. It made me feel like I was young, and back home in the hills of Tennessee and North Carolina–that is, except for all the giant Birds of Paradise and Palm trees…

It took me back to when I was young, just starting out in magic.

I studied poetry at East Carolina University in the late 60’s with professor Dave Lawson from New Mexico. He introduced me to Blue Grass music. He had a band called the Rocky Mountain Boys, and they were very good.

I was working with the Road Co., a traveling improvisational troupe out of Johnson City, Tennessee (this was around 1974-5). Through working with the Road Co., I became friends with Tom Bledsoe, John McCutcheon, Richard Blaustein, Bill Hicks and other local Old Time musicians, and performed doing magic in some fiddlers and blue grass conventions around North Carolina and Tennessee.

At one of these I worked with Janette Carter, and she invited me to perform at the Carter Family Store in Virginia. I did that a few weeks later, and I suspect I am the only magician to have worked there. I think it was my favorite show ever. I was so proud to have worked there.

It was during that time that I met “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson. Sam was an incredible singer, harmonica player, dancer, comedian and story teller from South Carolina. He had spent the early part of his career working in the medicine shows, and had a wealth of polished stories and jokes, and was an amazing blues and country harmonica player. I was first interested in the medicine shows from his stories. I will try to post more about Sam soon.

Later I opened for a lot of the Grand Ole Opry stars working at Tombstone Junction, a theme park in Cumberland Falls, Kentucky. I got to work with some really incredible performers, including Bill Monroe, Lester Flat, Bill Anderson, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Jerry Reed, Billy “Crash” Craddock, and Mickey Gilly.

I was so lucky to have this opportunity. It was quite a lesson in professionalism, showmanship and artistry.

Anyway, the beautiful surroundings of the Stow House, the perfect weather and the magnificent music took me back to some good times from when I was young.

It is a great convention, folks!

Make plans to go next year. You will have a great, great time!

2011 Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention, Goleta, CA

2011 Old Time Fiddlers' Convention

2011 Old Time Fiddlers' Convention

I will be performing on the stage tomorrow at the 2011 Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention in Goleta, California.

Magill and I are looking forward to a wonderful time. It is a beautiful place and I think it is going to be a beautiful day. We will be hoping to see a lot of our friends out there.

For more information go to:

Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention

Rancho La Patera & Stow House
304 N. Los Carneros Road
Goleta, California 93117
Ticket prices
     $25  General admission
$20  Seniors and Students with ID
Free 17 and under

Fiddlers’ Convention on Facebook

June Carter: It’s My Lazy Day

%d bloggers like this: