Thompson, of the Granville community, was one of the first performers on the Grand Ole Opry. He was a noted fiddle player and performed for Henry Ford in Texas. Ford asked him to come to Detroit to perform for the president. He did, and afterwards Ford took him to the Ford automotive planty and told him to pick any automobile in the plant. He picked Ford truck and added a camper on it, traveling the U.S., playing his fiddle and telling the story of the Grand Ole Opry.
The Uncle Jimmy Thompson Bluegrass Festival will have new competition this year with the Grand Champion Fiddle Competition. The winner will play center stage at the Birthplace of Country Music during a Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Night at the Ryman Auditorium. Registration for the event will be May 27 from 10-11 a.m. at Pruett Stage in historic Granville. Each contestant will perform three songs, breakdown, waltz and fiddler’s choice.
The entry fee is $5 with first place receiving $225, second gets $175, and third gets $125. For more information, call Sam Stout at 931-265-5811 or Mike Singleton at 615-202-8383. The show is made possible by Bates Ford of Lebanon, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, WSM Radio and Friends of the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour.
Bluegrass bands will also perform during the day starting at 10 a.m. with Old Way Out Bluegrass Band, Giri and Uma Peters and Tom Brantley and Missionary Ridge.
The festival will also honor at noon Granville native fiddle player Eldon Burgess, who is noted fiddle player in the Upper Cumberland.
The Sutton Ole Time Music Hour Dinner Show will feature Tom Brantley and Missionary Ridge with dinner at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. with music beginning at 6 p.m., followed by radio taping at 7 p.m. For reservations, call 931-653-4151.
Granville Heritage Day also features a large antique car, tractor and engine show, crafts, craftsmen, children’s entertainment and rides, a parade, food and a historic riverboat town.
For more information, visit granvilletn.com or call 931-653-4151.