PBS to televise episodes of Farm and Fun Time show

J. H. Osborne • Mar 12, 2020 at 2:00 PM

BRISTOL, Va. — The Birthplace of Country Music has announced an agreement for Blue Ridge PBS to televise WBCM Radio Bristol's Farm and Fun Time variety show. The weekly one-hour episodes will being airing April 4. The show will air at 7 p.m. EDT. The announcement was made during the kick off of Radio Bristol's Annual Fund Drive at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum on Wednesday.

"We have the world-class Birthplace of Country Music Museum — an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and Radio Bristol," said Leah Ross, Executive Director of parent nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music. "Syndicating Farm and Fun Time is the next step in our organization's growth. We hope for a long and mutually rewarding relationship with Blue Ridge PBS."

The show

Farm and Fun Time, produced before a live audience at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, hearkens back to the golden area of radio when families crowded around their consoles to enjoy live variety shows filled with music and comedy. The show is a refresh of the classic WCYB Radio program that broadcast from Bristol back in the 1940s and 1950s and helped grow the careers of important acts like The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs and Jim & Jesse McReynolds, among others. Just like in the old days, the show is known for its jingles for its sponsors.

"The combination of homespun humor, heartwarming stories and great live music have helped make Farm and Fun Time a big success for Radio Bristol, and most every show sells out," said the show's producer/writer/host Kris Truelsen. "From the beginning we knew we had something special and have talked about syndicating the show for some time."

Truelsen said editing work is underway to create episodes for the first two seasons of the televised version of the show. He and his band Bill and the Belles act as house band for Farm and Fun Time. The group's freewheeling, lighthearted approach to music has endeared them to listeners of every generation.

Blue Ridge PBS serves 4 million individuals in parts of a five-state region including Southwest Virginia and bordering counties in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina. Blue Ridge PBS is comprised of three channels: WBRA-TV 15.1, Southwest Virginia PTV 15.2, and Blue Ridge PBS Kids 15.3, Blue Ridge Create, and Blue Ridge Streaming.

About Radio Bristol

Radio Bristol, a branch of the Birthplace of Country Music, Inc., is a public, listener-supported station that broadcasts live from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, home of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions. Radio Bristol operates a low-watt FM signal in the Bristol area in addition to an online media center at ListenRadioBristol.org and a free radio app. The station went live in August 2015, one year after the grand opening of the museum.

Radio Bristol pays homage to the roots and branches of our region's rich music heritage with original programming that serves to perpetuate, promote, and celebrate the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and its impact on the music of today. From obscure, classic recordings to current Americana and progressive roots music formats, Radio Bristol breaks the rules of traditional radio by giving voice to artists, songs, and genres that may not otherwise get airplay.

The Radio Bristol Fund Drive kick-off continues through Thursday, March 12 on the Farm and Fun Time live variety show featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Jim Lauderdale and Miss Tess. Tickets to be part of the studio audience are now sold out, but the show will stream on Radio Bristol's Facebook Live at Facebook.com/WBCMRadioBristol.

The station's on-air Fund Drive campaign will continue for several weeks. Listeners may pledge online at ListenRadioBristol.org or by calling 1-833-I-LUV-Bristol (1-833-458-8274).

Presented by the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music, Radio Bristol showcases the diversity of American roots music from the early recording era to today. Reaching the world through their online media center, Radio Bristol produces original programming through recordings and live sessions from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee region. Radio Bristol broadcasts on 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at ListenRadioBristol.org, and through the station's free mobile app. Birthplace of Country Music, Inc. is the parent nonprofit organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. For more information visit ListenRadioBristol.org.

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