Clinch Mountain Echo

Junior Blankenship & Ernie Thacker - Old Virginia

(Lundy LTD-162) c1992

Old Virginia
Cassette Inlay

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This is a hard to find cassette, comprised of solid traditional bluegrass, with Junior and Ernie in fine form. Lead vocal duties are split between the pair, with Junior taking lead on (Bury Me Beneath The) Weeping Willow and Old Home Town and Ernie singing lead on the remaining nine vocal cuts. Fiddle / banjo backing is also superbly handled by future Boxcars' musical polymath Ron Stewart, and bass duties by Heath Van Winkle.

I'm not sure when it was recorded, but 1992 - 1993 seems the most likely time-frame, as the pair left the CMB's in March 1994.[1] Also the tape credits put Junior's name first, whereas the other two releases from 1994/1995 are credited as 'Ernie Thacker and Junior Blankenship'.

There's a couple of songs from the Stanley catalogue:- Carter's Baby Girl and I'm Only Human which The Stanley Brothers cut in 1961 (and Ralph re-recorded with Bill Wicker - It's Never Too Late c1988).

Old Virginia was also re-recorded for the duo's Tears Of Gold CD, where it's credited to Clinch Fields.

Jesus Is Calling was the first song written by Ernie (when he was just 15) and had previously been recorded whilst he was with Ohio Gospel group, Bluegrass Revelators. The lyrics, turned out to be sadly prophetic:

"Some people don't know, how lucky they are"
Having a house and driving a car
Let me tell you a story, a story that's true
He can take it away, like he gave it to you."

Daddy How I Miss You (aka Oh! Dad How I Miss You) was written by Larry Fuller and recorded on Larry Fuller & The Born Again LP 'A Tribute To Mom & Dad' (Old Homestead) 1986. Junior and Ernie's version is the only cut on the album to feature a drum kit.

The cover photo was taken by future CMB banjo player Mitchell Van Dyke.

Side One:
Old Virginia

Clinch Fields
I Hope You've Learned

Weeping Willow

Jesus Is Calling

Ernie Thacker
Dark Hollow

On And On

Bill Monroe
Side Two:
Baby Girl

C. Stanley
I'm Only Human

Jimmy Wells
Wheel Hoss

Bill Monroe
Old Home Town

Lester Flatt
Sittin' Alone In The Moonlight

Bill Monroe
Daddy How I Miss You

Larry D Fuller


Go To Top Of Page [1] Chris Skinker's liner notes to The Ernie Thacker, Junior Blankenship Band - Tennessee Blues (Copper Creek) 1995.