Virginia Country & Bluegrass-Music TV Show Goes National On RFD-TV

Image634588672811640645The “Virginia Dreams” of a group of Virginia country and Bluegrass music artists will soon take “Center Stage” on national TV. 

“What we hope to do is showcase our local talent to the world,” said “Virginia Dreams Center Stage” host Tim Spears, who announced today that the country-music TV showcase will debut on RFD-TV in January.

Image634588699146330645Virginia Dreams is also the new record label that recently signed the national bluegrass act Nothin’ Fancy who will be one of the first acts along with Loose Gravel to appear on the show nationally on RFD-TV.

According to Virginia Dreams spokesperson Tammy Hemp, Nothin’ Fancy is scheduled to appear on the show nation-wide on RFD-TV on January 15th at 7:30 ET and the show will repeat on January 19th at 6:30.   The group will sing their version of the 1970 Credence Clearwater Revival Hit “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” and the Peter Rowan classic “Panama Red” both of which are on Nothin’ Fancy’s lasted self-titled CD on the Virginia Dreams Label. 


Loose Gravel will appear on the show on January 22nd doing “My Window Faces South” and “Shenandoah”

RFD-TV is beamed into 42 million households across the United States via cable and satellite TV.

“For every star that comes in, at one time they were a local talent somewhere,” said Spears, who joined “Virginia Dreams Center Stage” in 2009.

The show got going a year earlier with a Christmas TV special put together by Nelson and Rose Swartz, the owners of the Harrisonburg Auto Mall. With the initial success of the Christmas special, “Virginia Dreams Center Stage” spun off on its own as a showcase for local Shenandoah Valley talent broadcast on the Harrisonburg-based ABC affiliate WHSV.

Spears, in the program’s second season, started mixing in big names like Linda Davis, T. Graham Brown, Janie Fricke and Helen Cornelius with the local talent.

The formula has proven successful.

“The show has just taken off,” said Spears, citing the show’s 6.7 local Nielsen rating as evidence of the foothold that “Virginia Dreams” has gained as it heads toward its fourth season on WHSV.

In a nice little personal twist for Spears and the cast, “Virginia Dreams Center Stage” will serve as a lead-in for reruns of the country-music TV classic “Hee Haw” when it debuts on RFD-TV on Sunday nights in January.

“I used to sit with my granddaddy and watch ‘Hee Haw’ on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons,” Spears said. “Sitting back as a 12-, 13-, 14-year-old kid, watching the stars, Buck Owens, Roy Clark, so forth, on ‘Hee Haw,’ and knowing I wanted a career in country music, I never expected to be tied to their show on national television.”

As part of the national debut on RFD-TV, The RFD-TV magazine will feature an article and allowed us a sneak peak.   According to the article;

“The vision of the founders Nelson and Rose Swartz, Virginia Dreams Center Stage features a mix of local performers and a host of Nashville stars. The show consists of a wide variety of music, country, gospel, bluegrass and original. It also takes on mostly the positive side of music with the show¹s regular cast, which includes Lisa Meadows, Tim Spears and the youngest member,  14-year-old Emma Leigh.

The talent absolutely does stop there. Some very important members on stage and behind the scenes include The Virginia Dreams Band - Pat Burr, lead guitar, Kevin Hinkle, drums, William Hayes, piano, Robby Meadows, band leader and bass player, Nikki Stroupe and JoJo Meadows, background vocals and a very talented set director - Tammy Hemp.

The founders, Nelson and Rose Swartz, the owners of the Harrisonburg (Va.) Auto Mall, are not new to the country-music scene by any stretch of the imagination. Rose¹s father was a lead guitarist and directed country-music bands in the Shenandoah Valley for years. His talents appeared on many local radio stations most of these years as Saturday-morning listeners got their coffee and warmed up the radio tubes. Rose also had a dear friend that made a name for himself in the business, Conway Twitty. Rose does a lot of the commercials and intros for the show and their five auto dealerships.”

Virginia Dreams Takes Center Stage Begins Airing on RFD-TV January 1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST)  Check Local Listings.

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