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Uncle Jimmy Thompson Bluegrass Festival

Granville Heritage Day

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Jesse Donald "Uncle Jimmy" Thompson was an “old time” fiddle player and singer-songwriter. He is best remembered as the first performer to play on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry (then called the WSM­AM Barn Dance) on the evening of November 28, 1925. The positive response to his performance would be an important influence on the show's creative direction. While Thompson made only a handful of recordings late in his life, his fiddle skills have made him one of the best-known icons of early country music. Uncle Jimmy was born in 1848 in the Granville community.


The Uncle Jimmy Thompson Grand Champion Fiddle Competition

  • Where: Competition will be held at the Pruett Stage, adjacent to the Sutton Homestead.

  • When: Contestants may register for the competition from 10:00—11:00 am. Competition begins at 12:30 pm

  • Entry Fee: $5.00. There is no age requirement.

  • Rules: Each contestant will perform three (3) songs: breakdown, waltz and fiddler’s choice. The top three (3) will be brought back to the stage for a “fiddle off.” In the second round, contestants will perform a waltz and breakdown.

  • Prizes: 1st Prize—$225, 2nd Prize—$175, and 3rd Prize—$125.

The Grand Champion will be invited to play center stage at the Birthplace of Bluegrass Music during Springer Mountain Farm Bluegrass Night at the Ryman Show with Dailey an Vincent. For more information, call Jimmy Bilbrey at 931-510-7770.

​Event Schedule

10:00-11:00: Registration for Competition

10:00-11:00 Center Hill Ramblers

11:15-12:15: Blue Ridge Grass

12:15: Uncle Jimmy Thompson Award Ceremony:  Honoree, Eddie Testamand

12:30: Uncle Jimmy Thompson Fiddle Contest (Round 1)

Sutton's Bluegrass for Kids All Stars

Uncle Jimmy Thompson Fiddle Contest (Finals)

Sutton's Bluegrass for Kids All Stars

2:15: Center Hill Ramblers

3:00: Blue Ridge Grass

4:00: Tom Brantley & Missionary Ridge

5:00 & 6:30: Sutton Ole Time Music Hour & Dinner (Reservations at 931-653-4151)

6:00: Warm Up Show

7:00: Syndicated Radio Show

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