Uncle Jack Fultz’s Memories of Carter County: Making our own music

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

One of the things that has always struck me about the folks of Carter County is how willing they are to create their own entertainment and celebrate their own artists. 

When they wanted to see paintings, the people of Carter County supported the Grayson Gallery, and the Gallery brought us paintings, sculptures, photography, and art from local and regional talent. 

When they wanted bluegrass, they put on shows at Rattlesnake Ridge, and organized their own festivals. 

And when they wanted drama, and music, and dance, and all the trappings of pageantry and production, they’ve had On With the Show. 

But On With the Show, and the newer Trail Town Stage, aren’t the first dramatic and musical productions to take place on the stage of a local school building. That local tradition is at least 100 years old, if not older. 

In February of 1921 the Herald noted at least two local performances gracing the “new school building (auditorium)” stage. 

The first was a series of skits and productions on a Friday night that impressed the local editor who noted, “Little would one think that such talent was in Olive Hill had they not heard them.” 

Then, a couple of days later, the community choir and orchestra were back on the stage for a Sunday performance. 

The community had “some real musicians” the Herald read, and organizers, “(were trying) to get out of them some of what they really possess.” 

This could easily be a quote about a modern production, and it’s worth keeping in mind as the community organizes events like Trail Town Stage, that this is an important part of our heritage. 

Of course, there is one other thing besides entertainment that the Herald reminds us of – that keeping the community safe from infection during pandemics is also part of the organizers duty. 

“The crowd enjoyed it immensely,” the paper said of the Friday, February 18 event, adding the brief note, “diseases quarantined.” 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com 

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