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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Second Wilburn Tribute slated

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The second annual Wilburn Brothers Musical Tribute is gearing up again this year.

The tribute will be held May 24 in Loberg Park in Hardy, the hometown of the musical brothers.

"The city of Hardy is extremely proud to be able to honor these hometown boys," Mayor Nina Thornton said. "This tribute will carry on their legacy."

The tribute will begin at 6 p.m. and include entertainment from legendary performers such as Steel Guitar Hall of Fame member Don Helms, Andy Norman and the Billy Joe French Band. There will also be additional performances by singer/songwriters Dave McCormick, Meaghan Owens, Brian James and Arikah Nash.

Admission is free. Everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs.

The city of Hardy began focusing on the famous brothers not too long ago. In fact, the city changed the name of Spring Street from Main Street to Riverview Road to Wilburn Brothers Memorial Boulevard just last year before the first tribute was held. In addition, the city agreed to hold the event yearly on the Saturday before Memorial Day.

The musical career of the Wilburn family began when the father, Benjamin Wilburn, purchased a guitar, mandolin and fiddle from the Sears Roebuck catalog in hopes that his five children could help the family financially by performing, according to information obtained from CMT.com.

The Wilburn children took to the streets Christmas Eve 1937 in Thayer, Mo., and that's all it took. Soon after, the children were taking their talents on tour six months of the year while staying the remaining six months in Hardy focusing on school, the Web site said.

During one of their tour stops in Alabama in 1940, the children caught the attention of singer Roy Acuff. At his urging, the family was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry that same year although they remained just six months due to pressure from child labor organizations, the Web site said.

In 1948 the family played on the Louisiana Hayride Radio Show where they met the then unknown Webb Pierce, the Web site said.

After the Korean War, Doyle and Teddy began performing alone as the Wilburn Brothers.

The duo had their first major hit with "Sparkling Brown Eyes," a collaboration with Pierce that reached number four on the charts in 1954, CMT said. That success later led to them lending backup vocals on Pierce's "In the Jailhouse Now."

Between 1955 and 1972 the Wilburn Brothers scored 30 chart hits, including "I Wanna Wanna Wanna," "I'm So in Love With You," "Hurt Her Once for Me" and many others. They also notched two Top Ten duets with Ernest Tubb, "Hey, Mr. Bluebird" and "Mister Love."

In the late 1950s the boys founded the Wil-Helm Talent Agency with Helms. The agency helped to launch the careers of entertainers such as Sonny James, Jean Shepherd, the Osborne Brothers and Loretta Lynn, who toured with the Wilburns' road show before she signed a recording contract with Decca, the Web site said.

Business continued and in 1963, Doyle and Teddy launched their own weekly syndicated TV variety series, "The Wilburn Brothers Show," which aired through 1974, the Web site said. The show featured musical acts such as the Oak Ridge Boys, Tammy Wynette and Barbara Mandrell.

In 1967 the Wilburns were named Duet of the Year in the Music City News Awards and were nominated for Vocal Group of the Year honors by the Country Music Association in 1972.

Doyle died in October 1982 from cancer. He was 52. Teddy then began a solo career and remained a member of the Opry until his death from congestive heart failure in November 2003 at the age of 72.

For more information about the event or the Wilburn Brothers, go to www.wilburnbrotherstribute.com.

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Benjamin "Pop" Wilburn is buried at Baker Cemetery close to one of his best friends, Arthur Baldridge. They are located in the older section of Baker...closest to the chapel.

-- Posted by MartinsCreek on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 5:32 AM

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