Author: McNeal, Brian

From Germany to Hollywood!

Welcome to another day in the bluegrass world. As this day begins there is bluegrass news on all fronts.

Although it's not of the earth-shaking variety, one of the more interesting stories to come our way this week actually comes from the other side of the world where it's dark when we have light and bright and sunny when we turn on the lamps. Yet it has a lot to do with California.

It also has a lot to do with a small cottage in Virginia and a hundred thousand homes of all sizes all over the world.

Wherever the TV series of the 1970's “The Waltons” ran, either in it's original nine-season run on the CBS network or in the hundreds of seasons of subsequent reruns in syndication all over the world, (The show still airs today on various U.S. cable and satellite outlets - INSP, The Hallmark Channel, GMC TV and in Canada on the Crossroads Television System) homes in all sizes and the families that occupied them found out a lot about life in the great depression and World War II eras in a down-home folksy kind of way and music was always a part of the show.

So it's only befitting that the TV show be honored now 40 years after it's beginning with a down-home and folksy mountain roots genre of music. Only the source of this honor is half-a-world-away in the Cologne region of Germany. For it is there that the German bluegrass band Covered Grass brought to life the emotions and deeply personal feelings they experienced growing up with the Waltons every Sunday on German TV in their song released just a few weeks ago called “Goodnight John Boy”.

Within the span of just these last few weeks, the video of their song has made it to numerous “Walton Fan Clubs” and eventually to several of the original cast members who posted it on their own personal web pages. The climactic result of all of this is an invitation for the band to surprise the cast members with their song at the show's 40th anniversary gala celebration in Los Angeles.

The timing is almost perfect too since the band will already be half-way there and in Nashville for the IBMA World of Bluegrass Showcase – the first band from Germany to have that honor in 12 years. But the bitter-sweet of it all is that all of the band's financial resources have already been tapped to get them and their instruments from Germany to Nashville. As Richard Hawkins, editor for the European Bluegrass Blog said, “It would be a shame if the band lost this wonderful opportunity simply because of a lack of funds.”

The band has launched what amounts to the equivalent of an American Kickstarter Campaign with StartNext and a new video entitled “A Song for The Waltons” was posted with their plea for financial help being narrated by the band's mandolinist and lead singer Corina Aurin (in German, with English subtitles). “I believe there are things that only happen once in a lifetime,” Ms Aurin says.
This is truly a golden opportunity for the band to meet and enjoy fellowship with their childhood heroes and also for the Walton cast members to realize just how much their work has impacted the lives of millions around the world and how far-reaching their influence is over time.

The band says they “...hope to pay homage to all living members of this TV series. To show the fans that there were many, many people who shared these feelings as they sat before their TVs each Sunday.” With their performance, they will be “...thanking the actors for a carefree time in their childhood and paying tribute to their work to show them how much they touched the lives of people all over the world.”

Covered Grass' own personal photographer will also be making the trip with the band and documenting every step of the tour on video. The band plans to make a film of their experience so that all of their fans and supporters can share in their dream.

OK, California venue owners, concert promoters and Walton Fans, time now to reach hands across the ocean and give the band a “Golden State Welcome” and find some extra curricular locations for performances while they're here. From house concerts to movie theaters to parking lot pickin', if you've got a way for them to pick up some income while they're here the weekend of Sept. 28th, here's their contact info.
( Volker Fisher - )

Thanks for reading and thanks for helping. As my dear old Grandad who reminded me a lot of Grandpa Walton, used to say, “This day already started out the best it could be now go do everything in your power to keep it that way.”

Have a great bluegrass day.
-Brian McNeal
Posted:  8/25/2012

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email