Originally created 09/05/97

There will be lots of picking at Macon's Bluegrass Jam



Bluegrass fans can hear some of the genre's greatest acts when the Georgia Bluegrass Jam is held later this month at Shrine Park, 222 Mecca Drive, in Macon.

Ralph Stanley will bring his Clinch Mountain Boys to the festival Friday, Sept. 19 (4-11 p.m., $20). Seldom Scene, the Del McCoury Band and Lynn Morris will be there on Saturday, Sept. 20 (10 a.m. to 11 p.m., $25); and IIIrd Tyme Out and Grand Ole Opry stars the Osborne Brothers perform Sunday, Sept. 21 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $20).

Tickets are $5 cheaper if ordered in advance by calling, toll-free, (888) 437-9797. A weekend pass costs $35.

The festival also will feature instrument giveaways and free music workshops with some of the stars.

Shrine Park is two minutes off Interstate 75 (Exit 49-B), just south of Interstate 16. The site includes an indoor stage in case of rain.

While in Macon, be sure to drop by the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., near the Otis Redding Bridge.

GRANDFATHER'S ADVICE: Asylum Records star Bryan White remembers the advice his grandfather Wilford White once gave him: "You've got to have rhythm, a lot of endurance and a strong throat."

The elder Mr. White was no singer but performed publicly as an auctioneer, selling everything from antiques to cattle in Oklahoma City.

The younger Mr. White, a native of Lawton, Okla., graduated from high school in 1992, moved to Nashville that year and landed a contract with Asylum in 1993.

Since then, he has had success with singles such as Look At Me Now, Someone Else's Star, Rebecca Lynn, I'm Not Supposed To Love You Anymore, So Much for Pretending, That's Another Song, Sittin' On Go and his new one, Love Is in the Right Place.

Last year, at 22, he won the Academy of Country Music's New Male Vocalist award, Music City News/The Nashville Network's Star of Tomorrow award and the Country Music Association's Horizon Award.

Barely four years ago, Mr. White was selling tour T-shirts for the band Pearl River. It wasn't too long before the tables were reversed, and Mr. White was hiring members of Pearl River for his own band.

GONE TO JOIN ELVIS: A familiar face usually seen on television during events commemorating the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death was not in Memphis, Tenn., last month for the 20th anniversary activities.

Mae Boren Axton, who wrote Mr. Presley's career-making Heartbreak Hotel, died April 9 at her home at age 82.

She and a friend, Tommy Durden, co-wrote Mr. Presley's first RCA Records single in 1955 after being inspired by a newspaper article telling of a man who left a suicide note saying, "I walk a lonely street."

Mrs. Axton, whose son is successful songwriter Hoyt Axton, was such a well-known Nashville personality that in the late '70s, long before I met her in person, I wrote her a letter and addressed it only to: Mae Boren Axton, Music Row, Nashville, Tenn. 37203.

Believe it or not, it got to her, and she wrote a warm note back within a very short time.

ON THE RADIO: Congratulations to Debbie and Chuck Johnson, the husband-and-wife duo on WKXC-FM, for being among the five finalists in the small-market category for the Country Music Association's 1997 Broadcast Personality of the Year award. The winners were a disc jockey team in Lakeland, Fla.

Jeff Roper and Andi Weber of WCOS-FM in Columbia, a station heard by many of our South Carolina readers, were winners in the medium-market category.