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Musical Heritage Mural Dedication Dec 13

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Musical Heritage MuralMarion, VA - The Town of Marion is celebrating another great project. Tim White, perhaps best known as the host of Marion's nationally-syndicated television series "Song of the Mountains", has just completed a giant mural telling the community's story in paint instead of tunes on the side of Southwest Virginia's first legal moonshiner's downtown distillery and mercantile store.

A dedication is planned for Saturday, December 13th at 12 noon, and the public is cordially invited. The dedication of the mural will be just prior to a 2:00pm matinee performance of "Song of the Mountains" at the Lincoln Theatre. This performance, taped for television, features bluegrass Legend Larry Sparks with his band the Lonesome Ramblers. Larry is celebrating 50 years in Bluegrass Music this year. Also on this "Song of the Mountains" is nine year old “Fiddlin’” Carson Peters who has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Other bands on the show December 13th are Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, After Jack and Williamson Branch. For information on "Song of the Mountains" visit www.songofthemountains.org or call 276-783-6093.

The Marion Musical Heritage Mural, wrapped over eighty feet and towering above the historic downtown district, was recently completed after a marathon painting session by White. The timeline, reading left to right, starts with the famous "Song of the Mountains" logo, and White himself, in his trademark white sport coat, is singing and playing his guitar. The historic Lincoln Theatre's marquee, home of the series, heralds "Song of the Mountains TONIGHT." Virginia Sweetwater, Southwest Virginia's first legal moonshine, is next on the mural. Wayne Henderson, a regional luthier and award-winning guitar picker from nearby Rugby and namesake of the soon-to-open Henderson School of Appalachian Arts. Bill Harrell, a native son of Marion, is another legendary bluegrass singer and musician, followed by Carson Cooper, who operated a music store in downtown for a generation, are next. Below Cooper is a nostalgic Mountain Dew advertisement, a nod to Marion's ties as home to the soft drink. Next to the ad is an image of the "Fireman's Jamboree", which was hosted by the late "Cousin" Zeke Leonard, who's image is the centerpiece of the mural. Zeke is pictured playing his signature upright bass, surrounded by square dancers at the Jamboree to the left and the WMEV radio station and tower to the right, where Zeke hosted his Saturday morning radio program for years. The next image is the late Hobart Smith from Saltville, an old-time banjo picker who had several recordings in the 1940's and whose music is archived of the Library of Congress. Beside of Hobart Smith is the late “Shorty” Rogers, the long time projectionist at the Lincoln Theatre. Next is shown the historic General Francis Marion Hotel, built in 1927 and renovated in 2005. The final image on the mural is a quart of Smyth County spring water nestled among some Virginia ivy.

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