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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Radford’s latest CD encompasses a variety of topics
The former race car driver sings about Jesus, trains and animals
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Courtesy Photo: Doris and Bobby Radford of Ferrum are dressed in Franklin County period costume.

Monday, May 6, 2013

By MORRIS STEPHENSON - Special to the News-Post

The musical talents of Ferrum's Bobby Radford may never have been showcased as they are in his latest CD release entitled "Jesus, Animals, Trains, Franklin County and Other Things."

Radford said he is proud of a lot of things about the 17 selections he recorded for this CD in his studio on Old Craft Shop Road in Ferrum. Of the total number of songs, 12 are original selections with the lyrics by Lane Rakes, Sue Justice, Mike Dillon and Radford.

"Lane and Sue wrote a number of poems, and I put those to music," Radford said.

A pair of the songs have dogs as the subject, including "Pull Sandy Pull" and "Lonesome Was a Good Old Dog," both penned by Radford. And there are two songs about Franklin County trains, one entitled "Spring Time in Franklin County," also authored by Radford.

The CD features a number of other veteran Franklin County musicians. Harold Mullins and Gene Parker are featured on the banjo, Steve Shively on guitar, mandolin and banjo, along with Jerry Wood of Salem, who is featured on a rare five-string fiddle. Sandy Via, Lin Flowers and Doris Radford, Bobby's wife, add back-up to a number of vocals.

"Me and My 243" is about Rakes' .243 rifle with a scope his father gave him as a youngster. With the gun, Rakes became an expert shooter. He eventually became a very successful hunter of both small and big game animals.

"For the music (to 'Me and My 243'), I got the idea of the theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies, an old TV show," Radford said. "I got Lane to shoot his prized possession to add realistic affects to the CD. But the first shot messed up my equipment. I thought the blast had blown up my recording stuff."

"But when I tuned down the volume, the second shot was just right," he added. "So I used it twice, once in the middle of the song and once at the end."

Another song on the CD, "Clydie Boy," is about Radford's friend Clyde Turner, who has a huge junk yard in Elamsville in Patrick County, where he serves as the self-proclaimed mayor.

"A couple of years ago I wrote, sung and recorded a song about him," Radford said. "Since then, he's sold more than 2,000 copies to friends and customers."

"Pull Sandy Pull," one of two songs about dogs on the CD, is based on a true story told by Turner, who had gone fishing at pond with his black lab, Radford explained.

"Well, Clyde stepped off the bank into a big hole and became stuck in the mud for about an hour," Radford said. "He couldn't get out by himself and it was cold, getting dark and starting to rain."

Turner called for Sandy, and the dog came close enough so his owner could get a firm hold on his dog's collar. After repeated commands of "pull, Sandy, pull," Turner's faithful companion provided enough strength to pull Turner out of the life-threatening situation.

"Jimmy Brown," another cut on the CD, is an old bluegrass favorite about a poor boy who sells the morning paper from the street corner, Radford said.

"It was the first song I learned to play after picking up my mother's guitar," he added. "I do the singing and play guitar and bass while Steve does the 'flat-pickin' on the song."

"I put a lot of songs on this CD and I really had a good time recording and producing it," Radford said.

The CDs are available at the Franklin County Historical Society, Pizza King on North Main Street and the 77 Restaurant in Ferrum. The cost is it $8.

Radford's website is

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