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Thread: Texas: The Pearl Bluegrass Jam's new webpage

  1. #26
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Sweetwater, Texas

    Default Re: Texas: The Pearl Bluegrass Jam's new webpage

    RIP Roy Gaugh & a history of the Pearl Bluegrass Jam and Stage Show.

    Posted on the Pearl Facebook page:

    Roy McGaugh - (1930-2019)
    I'm very sorry to share the sad news that bass/mandolin/guitar player and singer, Roy McGaugh passed away last week at the age of 88.
    While Bill Monroe is known as the "father of Bluegrass", Roy McGaugh has always been considered to be the "father of Pearl Bluegrass" in the sense that he's the one who first approached Ron Medart with the idea 21 years ago to start the Bluegrass jams and stage shows in the old Pearl schoolhouse.
    If it hadn't been for Roy and his idea for the jams, the Pearl schoolhouse might never have gotten restored and the monthly Pearl Bluegrass events that we all enjoy so much might not ever have happened.
    So, I thought it might be appropriate at this time to tell a little bit about the special way that the Pearl event got started thanks to Roy, his wife Ruth McGaugh, Ron Medart and his family and all the volunteers.
    Ronald Medart, his parents, his sister and other local volunteers had always wanted to find a way to restore the historic rock Pearl Schoolhouse that had closed back in 1956.
    Ron tells us that when Roy McGaugh, his Bluegrass band, and all his Bluegrass friends began holding monthly jams and shows at Pearl it provided a great way to raise the funds needed to purchase materials needed for the restoration.
    The labor to repair the schoolhouse roof, floors, windows, auditorium, parking lot, and add heating/air and an RV camping area was all done free of charge by Ron and a large group of volunteers who lived in or near Pearl - many of who used to attend school there.
    On the first Saturday of every month, several hundred people from all the surrounding towns and farm areas would come to Pearl each month to enjoy listening to the jammers and performers who gathered to play together there. (Just like happens today).
    Ron hoped to keep the event free of charge for everybody so that anyone who wanted to attend would be able to. Roy's wife, Ruth McGaugh, and other Pearl volunteers got the idea to grill and sell hamburgers out under the big outdoor pavilion as a way to feed everybody and raise the money for the utilities and construction materials. The men also built picnic tables and a playscape for the kids.
    Over time, the ladies expanded the menu and included home cooked stews, tasty cobblers, pies and other desserts. Soon the food became almost as popular as the music and what used to be the school typing room and study hall became a kitchen and dining area which we now call the "Bluegrass Cafe".
    The Pearl Quilting Club began bringing their beautiful hand-made quilts to hang on the back of the stage both for decoration and to improve the acoustics. To this day, the ladies still get together to sew quilts in the dining hall of the renovated schoolhouse (now Pearl Community Center).
    What is unique about the way Pearl Bluegrass was set up is that everyone who attends plays an important part that keeps this special free event going.
    - The community of Pearl offers use of the entire facilities to visiting musicians free of charge (except for RV hookups) so that they can gather and play together day and night all weekend if they'd like on the 1st weekend of each month.
    - Volunteers still maintain the building and make improvements, set up and run the sound, coordinate with the bands and jammers, take photos and videos, manage the website, handle the advertising, and cook and serve the food for everyone.
    - The musicians take turns contributing their talent by performing periodically on stage which attracts listeners. Because there are many bands from cities far and near who attend Pearl at various times all throughout the year, there is lots of variety in the bands that play on stage.
    - Music lovers of all ages who come to listen and enjoy the music purchase the food in the "Bluegrass Cafe" and eat in the dining hall which greatly helps support the Community Center and helps keep the event free.
    There has only been one month in 21 years that there has not been a Pearl Bluegrass Jam and Stage Show held in the historic and charming rock schoolhouse out in the country.
    Roy has had health problems these past few years so has not been able to attend or join in the music very often but Ron Medart has only missed 1 or 2 times in the entire 21 years Pearl Bluegrass has been happening.
    Roy McGaugh loved playing and singing Bluegrass and he was just looking for a good place for friends to gather and jam when he got the idea to use the old Pearl schoolhouse.
    Little did Roy imagine that his idea would lead to a monthly event still going strong 21 years later and still bringing happiness and fun to so many musicians and listeners from all over Texas each month.
    But Roy did recently see and know what was still happening at Pearl and I'm sure he realized that he and Ruth are very much appreciated for this magical musical event he started.
    Our sympathy and love go out to Roy's wife, Ruth, and their family and we hope it brings Ruth some comfort to know how much the contributions she and Roy made are appreciated by their Pearl Bluegrass friends.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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