Del McCoury Gets Highway Named In His Honor!

Image635179639355449187Del McCoury’s name is synonymous with Bluegrass” (Music) said Angie Chandler, executive director of Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership, which is collaborating with counties in Western North Carolina and the North Carolina Arts Council to develop the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

A a Five-Mile section of North Carolina’s Highway 261 north of Bakersville will soon bear McCoury’s name in honor of a childhood connection he has with the area. The stretch from Bakersville city limits to old Glen Ayre school will be dedicated to Del McCoury

NC Highway 261 to be renamed in honor of Bluegrass Legend, Del McCoury

Our mountains and foothills have a national reputation as a music-rich region, and our traditions of old-time string band music, ballad singing, and bluegrass are internationally renowned,” said Ms. Chandler.  “No other area of the country has had more impact on the development of the banjo as a bluegrass instrument than here in Western North Carolina. Del McCoury has exemplified that musical heritage through his 50-year career, his ability to appeal to younger and older audiences, and his innovation of various musical styles.”

Ceremonies to celebrate the occasion are scheduled for this Saturday, October 26, 2013 beginning at 9:30 am local time. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will make the presentatiion with Del McCoury and his boys providing music in the classic bluegrass style.

Following the presentation and performance by Del there will additional entertainment from local artists, along with food and beverages.

Though Del, himself, was born in Pennsylvania both his parents and his wife’s parents are from Mitchell county, NC where the section of the highway will be renamed.

McCoury said he has a National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and is in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, but this is something more. "It is a great honor to have a road named after you," he said. "That stands forever."

McCoury said he wished his father were alive to see the highway get named for him.

He himself never lived in Mitchell County, but he did get to visit quite a bit. His father’s family was from Glen Ayre and his mother’s family was from Buladean.

McCoury traces his musical heritage back to his family. He remembers a tale about his mom’s father playing fiddle at the Cloudland Hotel, which was located at the top of Roan Mountain, and said the lore is part of his family heritage. “I’ve heard my kin folks talk about all those things,” he said.


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