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Reece Shipley tribute show to raise funds for music scholarship

Staff Report • Apr 18, 2019 at 9:04 AM

BLOUNTVILLE – The Appalachian Cultural Music Association and ETSU are teaming up to present a new music education scholarship in memory of country recording artist Reece Shipley.

To help raise money for the scholarship, the ACMA and ETSU will host the 2019 Reece Shipley Memorial Scholarship Show at Northeast State Community College this Friday, April 19. Several performers will take the stage during the event, and tickets are available now.

“We are excited for the chance to honor Reece Shipley,” said Dan Boner, director of Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies at ETSU. “The new scholarship and annual show will showcase the talent he influenced in the Tri-Cities and beyond.”

How to attend

The show will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at the college, located at 2425 TN-75 in Blountville. Tickets are $15 and are available at www.northeaststate.edu/boxoffice.

Taking the stage

Performers will include Wayne and Helen Henderson, Tim Stafford, Bobby Starnes, Ed Snodderly, Cross Anchor Union, The Dimestore Cowboys, Boppin’ Bailey George and Jukebox Jessica Styles and The Magic City Polecat Playboys.

Special guests Trey Hensley and Cruz and Billy Contreras from The Black Lilies will also make an appearance.

About Shipley

Shipley was born in 1921 in Whitesburg, Tennessee, and often performed in Kingsport, Bristol and elsewhere in East Tennessee. The singer was best known for his 1952 hit single “Hillbilly Jive with a Boogie Beat.” One of his other songs, “Milk Bucket Boogie,” was covered by Red Foley. Shipley died in 1998 at age 77.

“Members of Reece’s family approached me at the Leon Kiser Memorial Tribute Show and asked if we could do a similar kind of show in Reece’s memory,” said Rick Dollar, executive director of the ACMA and the Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport. “There’s already a Reece Shipley exhibit at the museum, and he was certainly an important part of country music history, so I thought it was a great idea.”

At the museum

Shipley was known for wearing an embroidered cowboy shirt and a red scarf, which are displayed at the Mountain Music Museum along with some of his records.

On the day of the show, the museum will also unveil a vintage Epiphone-brand guitar like one that Shipley used to play, which Epiphone’s parent company, Gibson, has donated to the museum.

Additionally, Tecumseh Records of Pennsylvania has agreed to re-release copies of Shipley’s final CD, which will be available for purchase at the museum. The city of Kingsport also plans to designate April 19 as Reece Shipley Day.

The ACMA is a nonprofit organization that promotes bluegrass, old-time, gospel, classic country and Appalachian-style music through educational programs and musical performances.

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