2019 Season Sponsors
Virginia is for Music LoversYadkin Arts Council
WLA Trucking Visit Winston-Salem


The Blue Ridge Music Center
700 Foothills Rd
Galax, VA 24333
Milepost 213 on
The Blue Ridge Parkway

Music Center Info Call:
(276) 236-5309
Concert Info Call:
(866) 308-2773 x 213
To Purchase Concert Tickets
by phone (866)308-2773 x 212

2019 Hours of Operation:

Open Thurs.-Mon., May 4-21
Open daily, May 23 - November 3
10 a.m. - 5 p.m

facebook Twitter Instagram

The Collected Writings
of Joe Wilson

Lucky Joe's Namesake Roots Music in America

Books can be purchase by clicking on the titles below or at the Blue Ridge Music Center Gift Shop.

Roots Music in America collects Wilson’s various writings on these subjects. Including a foreword by Ted Olson, this book will make Wilson’s entertaining essays and observations available to a wider readership.

Lucky Joe’s Namesake collects Wilson’s autobiographical writings, beginning with an 1893 New York Times article on Joe Wilson’s great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran and notorious horse thief. Wilson’s writings take the reader from Joe’s growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to his move to Nashville and the burgeoning country music scene, to Birmingham and New York, finding his calling with the NCTA from 1976 to 2004, and finally to the founding of The Crooked Road and Blue Ridge Music Center following his retirement. Along the way, Wilson discusses music, the mountains, civil rights, folklife and folklore, and his extraordinary career.

Joe Wilson (1938-2015)

Joe WilsonJoe Wilson was instrumental in the creation of the Blue Ridge Music Center. From his brainstorming sessions with Gary Everhardt to create the Music Center to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Joe’s passion for the music of Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable. Joe was also instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails. As the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, he dedicated the book to: "The musicians of southwestern Virginia, present, and past, in honor of their joyful keeping of a portion of America's musical tradition and their unfailing hospitality and generosity. Among the lessons they teach is that an art form that is freely given and always shared can be kept forever." We thank Joe for the incredible and vibrant legacy of traditional and roots music he has left us. Rest in peace, friend.

Joe Wilson with Gary EverhardtJoe Wilson (on Right) with former Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Gary Everhardt at the Blue Ridge Music Center

"Uncle Joe" by Eddie Bond

Remembrances of Joe Wilson
Dr. Earle Hitchner, Dudley Connell, Doyle Lawson

NCTA Board Chair George Holt's
Tribute to Joe Wilson➚

NEA Director of Folk and Tradtional Arts Barry Bergey's Tribute to Joe Wilson➚

Never Be Boring: How a Self Educated Man Became a Living Legend➚
Mark Lynn Ferguson - Smoky Mountain Living

Virginia Folklife tribute to Joe Wilson➚

Music Legend Dies ➚
Dave McGee - Bristol Herald Courier

Joe Wilson Was Mountain Music's Biggest Fan and Greatest Advocate➚
Ralph Berrier - Roanoke Times

Joe Wilson Was Passionate about Music➚
Eddie Huffman - Winston-Salem Journal's Relish