Matt Lasley Reporter
November 12, 2013
Legendary Grayson County bluegrass band Ol’ Blue will reunite and perform at the Grayson County Bluegrass Opry on Saturday, November 16.
The band, which formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1985, will reunite for the first time in twenty years, according to longtime member Roger Dermitt.
“It’s going to be a fun time,” Dermitt said. “We’re doing it, and we’re enjoying it.”
Former members of Ol’ Blue who will attend and perform in the reunion include, in alphabetical order, Roger Dermitt, Bill Edlin, Bryan England, Dennis Haycraft, Robert Horsley, David Norris, and Eric Payton.
Since the band disbanded, four members have passed away, including founding members Jodie Hall and Elwood Haynes, and later additions Earl Huff and Sam Mineer.
Ol’ Blue - named such as a tribute to “old time” and bluegrass music - was formed in 1972 by Hall and Haynes at around the same time the two started the Kentucky State Fiddlers Contest, Dermitt said.
The original lineup of the band also included Haycraft and Horsley.
In the years that followed, a number of member changes took place, including the addition of Dermitt, who joined in 1975 and stayed with the band until 1985, he said.
The band had a long and decorated history while together, as well.
Ol’ Blue released one vinyl record in 1980 titled Bluegrass Homemade and won a number of awards including first place in a Cincinatti music competition and sixth place in the Opryland Hotel contest in Nashville, Dermitt said.
Ol’ Blue also won the distinction of Kentucky State Championship Band in 1979.
In addition, for some members, Ol’ Blue served as a stepping stone to greater success.
Former Ol’ Blue fiddle player Jimmy Mattingly, who performed with the band while attending high school, went on to play alongside major country music artists, such as Garth Brooks, Dermitt said.
Due to prior touring commitments, Mattingly will be unable to attend the Ol’ Blue reunion.
But for what Ol’ Blue are most well-known are their concerts.
For the span of their entire career, Ol’ Blue travelled and performed every weekend, the pressures of which ultimately drove them to disband to allow the members to spend more time with their respective families, Dermitt said.
In addition, the band oversaw three festivals in Kentucky malls, including the Oxmoor Mall in Louisville, the Towne Square Mall in Owensboro, and the Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green, Dermitt said.
The Grayson County Bluegrass Opry will be held in the old Judicial Center building in Leitchfield at 6 p.m.
Ol’ Blue will headline the show, but Dermitt and England will also perform in their new band McDonald Road; and Norris, Horsley, and Payton will perform with Grayson County Bluegrass Opry Coordinator Barry Downs in their band Hickory Grove.