|Ferrum musician joins the ranks of Patsy Cline and Roy Clark|
Junior Sisk was recently inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame. He is pictured above receiving a framed congratulatory letter from Gov. Bob McDonnell with his wife, Susan, at left and father, Harry Carpenter Sisk Sr., behind him.
Monday, September 24, 2012
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
Franklin County's Junior Sisk has joined the ranks of some legendary performers in the state.
On Sept. 16, Sisk of Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice fame was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.
The ceremony took place in Chesterfield County during the annual bluegrass festival.
Sisk is on a list of honorees that includes Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, Ray Pillow, Jimmy Dean, Larry Stephenson and Dempsey Young, also from Franklin County.
Sisk's father, Harry Carpenter Sisk Sr., also a musician, said his son has been playing since he was a teenager.
"When he was 13 or 14, he had been wanting a motorcycle for Christmas," the elder Sisk said. "But I got him an upright bass. He was disappointed at first, but he started playing and forgot about the motorcycle."
Junior Sisk soon switched to the guitar and his life's calling was soon evident.
In the early 1980s, Sisk started playing with his family's band, Dreamin' Creek, and formed the original Ramblers Choice in the mid-90s with his cousin Timmy Massey.
Later, Sisk played with Lost and Found, as well as Alan Bibey and Blueridge.
Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice regrouped in 2007.
Sisk is also a songwriter, writing successful songs for Lonesome River like "A Game I Can't Win," "My Heart Belongs to You" and "Tears Are Blinding Me."
A recent song he wrote, "A Far Cry From Lester and Earl," has broken several records, staying in the top slot on Bluegrass Music Profiles' top 30 hit singles for six consecutive months.
The song is up for the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Song of the Year, and the CD it is on, "The Heart of a Song," is up for Album of the Year.
Sisk has been nominated several times for IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year.
Junior Sisk is now joined in Ramblers Choice by Billy Hawks on fiddle and vocals, Jason Tomlin on vocals and bass, Jason Davis on banjo and Chris Davis on mandolin and vocals.
As part of the induction ceremony, Sisk received a framed letter from Gov. Bob McDonnell congratulating him on his accomplishments.
"This induction recognizes your nationally acclaimed musical talent and contributions to our commonwealth," McDonnell said.
Harry Sisk Sr. said his son was surrounded by his family when he received the honor, including Junior Sisk's wife, Susan.
"I don't believe there was a dry eye in the house," the elder Sisk said. "He is blessed. The Good Lord smiled on him."