The WPAQ Saturday morning Merry-Go-Round, which is a live radio broadcast set in a vintage movie theater, has an exceptionally long history of presenting the best of live traditional music in the Blue Ridge. Through the years, a host of regional and national music legends, including Tommy Jarrell, Benton Flippen, the Carter Family, Mac Wiseman, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and Bill and Charlie Monroe have appeared on the broadcast. The program’s popularity and long history of devotion to regional music has made it the SECOND LONGEST CURRENTLY RUNNING live radio programs in the nation.
On a typical Saturday morning, a technician at the rear of the auditorium greets visitors with a friendly nod as they enter the room. A group of musicians play an extended medley of bluegrass and old time tunes during the pre-broadcast jam session. At eleven o’clock, the house lights dim, a bright red “on the air” electric sign lights up, the emcee welcomes the audience, and another weekly edition of the Merry-Go-Round begins.
Visit the Down The Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails Podcast Library to hear more about the Surry County Style, the Earle Theatre and explore many bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina.