Bill Grant & Delia Bell in ‘The Home of Strictly Country’, Harpel (November ’84)

Het was te doen gebruikelijk dat mensen die in Europa op tournee waren natuurlijk ook in Harpel op zouden treden. In het geval van Bill Grant & Delia Bell (en Delia’s zus Mona) was dat natuurlijk ook het geval. In tegenstelling tot was ik in de vorige post dacht waren zowel Henri de Ridder als Moos Roovers van de partij om van het Amerikaanse trio een volwaardige bluegrassband te maken. Moos Roovers (maakte toentertijd deel van The Country Trash uit) deelde op Facebook een paar herinneringen naar aanleiding van een vraag of Delia Bell en Bill Grant op deze Europese tournee door de mannen van The Country Trash begeleid werden.

De herinneringen van Moos Roovers:
‘De in het artikel (bedoeld wordt de vorige post op deze site) genoemde banjoïst Henri de Ridder was inderdaad betrokken bij Bill en Delia’s tournee naar Scandinavië, samen met Delia’s zus Mona die op dat moment ernstig ziek was. De tournee was deels ook bedoeld als een laatste avontuur voor Mona zoals Mona indertijd aan Moos vertelde. Ik (Moos dus) was zowel de chauffeur als de solo-gitarist tijdens deze tournee. Ik vind het nog steeds een eer dat ik deze getalenteerde en ontzettend vriendelijke en bescheiden mensen van zo dichtbij mee heb mogen maken. Misschien ook noemenswaardig is dat we in Zweden in Falun hebben gespeeld daar was Egon Mattson de gastheer en organisator, Het hoogtepunt van de tour was het optreden in het Mosebacketheater in Stockholm. Dat is nog steeds een zeer gerenommeerd theater. Misschien qua status vergelijkbaar met Carré in A’dam. Henry en ik kenden al veel mensen vanuit eerdere tournees in Zweden, en die kwamen zeker met 50 personen opdraven waaronder een volledig balalaika orkest en koor (Södra Bergens Balalaikor). Ontzettend leuk was dat mensen die Russische muziek spelen uiterst Amerikaanse muziek leuk vonden, want ze waren laaiend enthousiast’.

Los van het feit dat we naar geweldige mensen hebben kunnen luisteren en nu – jaren later – terug kunnen blikken op mooie herinneringen is het natuurlijk ook mooi dat er als je naar aanleiding van een post herinneringen met elkaar op kunt halen. En natuurlijk was het een geweldige optreden daar in Harpel.

Voor de vorige post had ik wat op Internet zitten struinen en had ik foto’s van de grafstenen van zowel Delia Bell als Bill Grant gevonden. Ik vond ook korte levensbeschrijvingen van zowel Delia Bell als Bill Grant.

Korte levensbeschrijving van Delia Bell
DELIA BELL DIED: June 15, 2018 LOCATION: Hugo, Oklahoma Francis Leona “Delia” Bell, age 83, was born April 16, 1935 in Bonham, Texas, the daughter of Oswall Nowell and Netti (Woods) Nowell and had lived all of her life in Hugo. Her parents preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by three sisters, Dorothy Elem, Georgie Helton and Helen Abney. She lived a wonderful life with her husband of 62 years, Bobby Ray Bell. They were married on February 25, 1956 in Hugo. Traveling and singing Bluegrass music was her life and she enjoyed it very much. In 35 years, she traveled though out many states and seven countries alongside Bill Grant. She loved playing bingo and spending time with her family and friends. Delia was of the Pentecostal faith. SURVIVORS INCLUDE: her husband, Bobby Bell; son, Keith Bell of Ft. Towson, OK; brother, Ronnie Nowell of California; two grandchildren and three great grandchildren along with many other relatives and friends.
Korte levensbeschrijving van Bill Grant
Billy Joe Grant May 09, 1929 – July 09, 2019 This last mile was difficult and made him weary but last night he took the hand of Jesus and they climbed the stairway he has sung about so many times. His legacy will surely live on… Bill Grant was born Billy Joe Grant on May 9, 1930, a Choctaw tribal member, and grew up on a ranch near Hugo, Oklahoma. Inspired by the music of Bill Monroe, he took up mandolin. Grant has been recognized as “Ambassador of Bluegrass Music” by three Oklahoma governors. Bill Grant passed away on Tuesday, July 09, 2019, after a brief confinement to hospital following a fall on May 18 that resulted in a fractured leg. Billy Joe Grant was born in Hugo, Oklahoma on May 9, 1929; a Choctaw tribal member, he grew up on the family ranch near Hugo, and worked in the Fort Worth stockyards for a while. Surprisingly, he didn’t have a musical instrument until when in high school, was inspired by Bill Monroe, and took up the mandolin. Grant is best known for the 40-year musical partnership with Delia Bell during which time they recorded 32 albums. A dozen were released on their own label Kiamichi Records, while others can be found on the County, Rebel, and Rounder labels. For a little over a decade – beginning in the late 1960s, the duo was backed by the Kiamichi Mountain Boys (also known as the Bonham Brothers), a group named after the Kiamichi Mountains near their home. When the Kiamichi Mountain Boys were disbanded in 1980, they worked either with the Johnson Mountain Boys or as a mandolin/guitar duo. Bill Grant and Delia Bell performed in 34 states and seven countries, among those being England and Ireland, wherein they toured 11 times during the 1970s. They continued to perform as a duo until 2006 when their partnership ended. In the following year Grant began singing on a limited basis with his stepdaughter, Amy Patrick. Grant is credited with promoting the first bluegrass festival west of the Mississippi. His multi-day festival at Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1969, had its roots in a gathering two years earlier. His honors include the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement award (in 2006); recognition – with Bell – as a Pioneer of Bluegrass Music (by the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky); and induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (2017). His passing was just over a year after Delia Bell passed away.

Choctaw tribal member and Bluegrass legend Bill Grant (right) holds up his trophy after being inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 25. Grant has been an influence to many musicians during his lifetime. After seeing a bluegrass festival put on by Bill Monroe, Grant brought the first one to Hugo. The Hugo festival was the first bluegrass festival west of the Mississippi. Former Kiamichi Mountain Boys band mate and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Board Member Virgil Bonham (center) along with Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Jim Blair (left) inducted Grant into the Music Hall of Fame. Fans of bluegrass music filled the Bill Grant Civic Center in Hugo for Bill Grant Presents Bluegrass on the Kiamichi Trace on Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25. The two-day festival officially started at noon both days and ended at 10 p.m., but bluegrass filled the air hours before the festival started. Bluegrass legend and Choctaw tribal member Bill Grant performed the second day of the festival with his band and his stepdaughter Amy Patrick. After his set, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Jim Blair took the stage and introduced Board Member and Bill Grant’s former Kiamichi Mountain Boys band mate, Virgil Bonham. Bonham spoke about his dad coming home from a bluegrass festival in Hugo in 1969 and saying they had to go back next year because it was an awesome event. The following year Bonham slept under a station wagon and they stayed the night. While Bonham’s dad and uncle were playing they met Grant. After the festival the three men got together and formed the Kiamichi Mountain Boys and Bonham said at 11-years-old he cut his first record with Bill Grant. “Virgil was about this tall (hip height) and standing on a box playing a big bass,” Grant told the audience. Bonham wove a tale about the first record they cut. With hot links cooking they ate good food and did some picking. They wrote a few tunes. Emmylou Harris recorded one of them, “Roses in the Snow,” and it became a country hit. Another song from that session, “Stairway to Heaven,” continues to be performed by Grant to this day. For Bonham, the day was an honor because Grant gave a 10-year-old boy a chance to play on a stage and write songs, which Bonham continues to do as part of the Bonham Review and Hankerin’ 4 Hank, a Hank Williams tribute band. He credits Grant with being a musical influence. He said Grant was his influence to play the mandolin. Until he met Grant he thought he’d play the bass fiddle, but to this day he continues to play the mandolin. Grant has influenced many musicians besides Bonham. Among those who credit Grant’s influence are Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley and many more. Bonham mentioned that as a member of Choctaw Nation, Grant has done wonders for the tribe and the recognition Grant brings back to the tribe is nothing but positive. After speaking about Grant, Bonham said, “Bill, it is my honor to be the one to hand you this trophy, and I would like to induct you into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.” Grant, a soft-spoken, humble man, accepted the award from Bonham. “You sure know how to make a country boy proud. I can’t hardly express words to say what is in my heart,” Grant said. He talked about being in Muskogee while the Music Hall of Fame was being built and someone telling him he might be in there one day. “I said I doubt it, but it’d be nice and it is nice,” Grant said. Before exiting the stage Grant said, “Thank you very much. God bless you and thank you one more time.” In addition to being inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, Grant has been inducted into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame, awarded the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award for his contribution to bluegrass as a promoter, songwriter and performer, and the Oklahoma Arts Council created a special recognition award for Grant’s support of the arts in Oklahoma.

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Harry Vogel

Ik ben voornamelijk geïnteresseerd in traditionele folk- en countrymuziek, Groninger (cultuur)geschiedenis, en allerlei buitengebeuren. Vroeger trok ik er vaak op uit om meerdaagse fietstochten te maken, tegenwoordig fiets ik meer in de omgeving van de stad Groningen. In de jaren 80 van de vorige eeuw begon ik foto's te maken van de (huis)concerten die ik bezocht. Recent heb ik al mijn oude negatieven gedigitaliseerd. Deze website kwam tot stand vanuit de wens iets met de recent gedigitaliseerde negatieven te doen...

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