LeMars, Iowa…..”When the ‘Rural Roots Music Commission’ was organized in 1980, we had no idea we would be able to expand the purpose, or the interest, into such a large arena of music appreciation.”  Bob Everhart is President of the National Traditional Country Music Association.  “We started what might be called our ‘music protection’ society in 1975, which eventually became the NTCMA.  We quickly realized that the very slow process of placing recognition and honor on those that have made a lasting impression on country music, was leaving a huge amount of worthwhile contributors without recognition.  That was the beginning of the Rural Roots Music Commission.  We also had to find a way to distinguish what we do, so we began labeling the musical genre ‘rural country,’ so as not to be confused with present day country music,” Everhart said. “Only a handful of those that have made significant contributions to this particular kind of music, were being honored.  We decided to seek out recording artists, performers, instrumentalists, songwriters, producers, promoters, even media specialists, that have been successful in ‘rural country music’ by making annual awards at the convention and festival promoted by the National Traditional Country Music Association.  And, we decided to do this on several different levels of interest, Local, State-Wide, Regional, National, and International.  In other words, we were, and are, dedicated to finding the very best participants in all areas of this genre of music.”
     Everhart went on to say, “We honor contributors to ‘rural country’ music in two ways now.  Some are inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame which is located in the Pioneer Music Museum in Anita, Iowa, and others, especially those active in ‘recording’ rural country music, receive recognition from the Rural Roots Music Commission.  The latter process requires a review of CDs recorded and made available to the public one year prior to the festival, which takes place this year August 29-September 4th, at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa.  CD’s received are reviewed in Tradition Magazine, the house organ of the NTCMA, and then forwarded to the Rural Roots Music Commission who decide the awards to be made.”
     “There are a number of categories that awards are made,” added Everhart.  “We are extremely pleased to announce that Sandy Uttley, of Huntington, Pennsylvania, will be receiving the RRMC “Best Country Music Legacy CD of the Year” award this year.  Ms. Uttley has recorded one of the best “Patsy Cline” CD’s the reviewers have heard in a very long time.  The name of her CD is “Sings Patsy Cline” and will be presented to Ms. Uttley on Monday, August 29th at 8:30pm on the main stage of the NTCMA Festival in LeMars, Iowa.”
     According to Ms. Uttley, “I made this recording with Jim McCoy in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.  Jim McCoy is well known as the ‘discoverer’ of Patsy Cline.  He had Patsy on his radio show constantly when she was just beginning her country music career, and that eventually led her to a major label recording contract.  Jim will be coming with me to LeMars to help me with the show there, and I believe he is also going to receive a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award from the NTCMA.  I met Jim in 2006 at a Patsy Cline Tribute show he does in West Virginia.  I also met Patsy’s husband Charlie Dick and Patsy’s daughter Julie, who are still very active in promoting the legacy of Patsy.  They had both planned on attending the award ceremony in LeMars, however Charlie is very ill right now.  In the meantime, Jim and I will attend, and perform on the “Tribute to Patsy Cline Show.”  According to Bob Everhart, “Sandy Uttley is one of seven children, and she has been singing since she was a child.  She hails from a small town in South Central Pennsylvania and has a voice as big as the Appalachian Mountains she grew up in.  Deep, rich, and lush, her vocals evoke memories of a time when ‘country music’ really WAS country music.  We are very elated at being able to honor this wonderful woman who has worked so hard keeping the music of Patsy Cline alive and well.”
     The festival Ms. Uttley will attend, has been going for 36 years.  “We will have well over 600 country music performers at this event,” said Bob Everhart.  “We have ‘ten’ sound stages running for seven days to accomodate them.  9am-midnight every day for seven days seems like a huge production, and it is.  Getting everyone to the proper stage at the proper time can be a scheduling nightmare, however the end result is an absolutely unbelievable gathering of like-minded fans and participants who like their country music to be ‘rural’ in nature.  That means it’s real country music, not rock and roll called country, not heavy metal called country, not jazz called country, not blues called country.  We call it like it is…and it’s ‘rural’ country, the real-deal.  We’re also very pleased we are able to provide a clean non-alcoholic non-drug venue for the fans of this music to come to.  The Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa, is large, and totally flat.  Huge air conditioned buildings for shows, as well as outdoor stages. Great country cookin’ and some of the best Iowa corn-fed beef steaks anyone is likely to ever eat.  LeMars is also home of Bluebunny Ice Cream, the largest ice cream manufacturer in the world, so we combine all the ‘best’ of everything.  Country music, country food, and country ice cream.  You just can’t beat a deal like that, not at the prices we charge.  General admission is $15 per day per person, a seven-day open-gate pass is $60 per person.  This includes everything, all ten stages, and all celebrities.  This year, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, and Jeannie Seely will be with us.  Bonnie Guitar, the recording artist of “Dark Moon” will also be with us, and well over 600 pickers, singers, players, musicians, and performing artists.  We have excellent RV camping facilities too, with 30-amp hook-ups at $12 a day (no reservations).  A Tipi Village in an old ghost town setting is a great place for ‘jammers’ to gather, and throw in six old time dances in the Dance Hall, and it’s a pretty good deal for the dollar.  We keep telling folks, don’t put all your money in your gas tank to drive hundreds of miles to see one show, come be with us and see a thousand.”
     More information about the NTCMA and the Rural Roots Music Commission, the Pioneer Music Museum, and the annual festival of Agricultural Arts, Crafts, and Rural Lifestyle is available at their website at

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