STORY BEHIND MAYF NUTTER'S SONG "JAMBOREE
IN THE HILLS" ON STARDUST COMPILATION # 32
Greetings from the Sequoia National Forest in
California! Thank you so much for
your interest in Mayf Nutter Music. Jamboree
In The Hills is an annual event which has been
called the Country Music Woodstock. The year
2001 marked its 25th Anniversary. http://www.jamboreeinthehills.com
WWVA Radio in Wheeling, West
Virginia is a 50,000 watt station that
broadcasts the entire Eastern US and Canada.
They often get mail from Africa and ships
In the 1930s they began broadcasting live
shows with a big "live" audience on
Saturday Nights. Grandpa Jones, Hawkshaw
Hawkins, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, all Grand
Ole Opry stars, had first been on the JAMBOREE.
My Daddy, P-nut Nutter, played and sang
on the radio daily with Wilma Lee and Stoney
When I left the leadership of The New Christy
Minstrels to begin my solo career, WWVA was
among the first to play my records and
invited me to play The Jamboree. They have
bus loads of fans from as far away as Canada and
the Mid-west for two separate shows every
In 1977, Guy and Virginia Alderman and their
sons and daughter constructed a huge red barn on
their property, Brush Run Park, near
their private airport in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
They had approached WWVA with the idea of a big
outdoor Country Music Event like Woodstock,
except on a permanent site. The big red
barn was built at the foot of a long sloping
hill. When the Brush Run barn doors
opened, a huge stage was revealed with state of
the art lighting. The horse stalls were
converted to dressing rooms.
The Showtime pay-TV network was brand new and
had a contract to film that first two-day event.
Forty-eight hours before the event, the
organizers discovered a very big problem.
While finalizing the schedule, they couldn't get
any of the other big stars to
agree to follow Johnny Cash at ten o'clock on
the first night, Saturday.
Bill Boyd, the then president of the Academy
of Country Music, was the talent coordinator for
the show. He called me in a panic.
The Jamboree staff had told him about the
terrific crowd response to my appearances on
their Saturday night shows.
On several occasions, the
staff announcer was not able to come out on
stage and read the traditional live commercials
during my show. The audience would
"boo" him so loudly that the radio
listening audience couldn't hear the announcer.
One night, when it was time for a commercial
break during my show, three large truck
driver-looking fellows walked up onto the stage
and bodily carried the announcer away. Talk
about a show stopper!!
Conway Twitty was the headliner on one of
those shows and Kenny Rogers was the headliner
on another that I specifically remember.
Sometime later, I learned
that only when Mayf Nutter was on stage, had
this phenomenon ever happened.
By 1980 WWVA had developed a new system of
doing their radio commercials during my shows.
They would no longer send the announcer
on stage to read the spot. Instead, they
simply faded-down the radio broadcast during
applause after a song, then played the
pre-taped commercial from the radio station
control room. Then they would re-join my
show "in progress". That way the
theater audience had no interruptions and
were unaware the commercials had even been done.
Having heard that story, Mr. Boyd called me
and convinced me to get a substitute for the
remainder of my booking at The Troubadour
in Hollywood, in order to immediately fly to
Ohio and follow Johnny Cash on that first
JAMBOREE IN THE HILLS event.
Later, at the urging of a fan, I wrote the
song which has now been used as the theme song
to open each show for over 20 years.
Jamboree In The Hills (the song) is an
accurate autobiographical account of that first
day of the event. Also, the song permitted me
to express my personal excitement, and gratitude
to God, for having delivered that wonderful
opportunity to me and for having
blessed me with the gift of music.
In the last verse of the song, I hoped to
convey my aversion to the use of alcohol and
drugs as a substitute for the "JOY of
Thank you, sincerely, for allowing me to
share that joy with you !!
All proceeds from the sale
of the JAMBOREE IN THE HILLS CD (which includes
a "Live" Mayf Nutter show) go to
BELIEVERS IN ACHIEVERS, a non-profit charity for
kids who "excel". Tax deductible donations of $20 or more includes
shipping and handling.
Info To Check Out Mayf's CD!
Festus' cousin on Gunsmoke.
Anniversary Celebration 2001 Jamboree In
On The Photos For Larger View