“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Norton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Norton / Coeburn


— The Crooked Road — Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail —

Norton Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 17, 2015
1. Norton Panel
Inscription.  Norton. Norton has produced important musicians for a century. Songwriter and ballad singer Kate O’Neill (later Kate Peters Sturgill) grew up here, began a string band in 1914, taught hundreds to play guitar, and was a pioneer on radio. Norton barber Byrd Moore was a premier country guitarist of the 1920s, recording with a half dozen prominent bands.

Blues banjoist Dock Boggs lived here, and recordings he made 80 years ago are still in print. Pioneer bluegrass musicians the Stanley Brothers and Jim and Jesse McReynolds got their start on Norton radio station WNVA. Black string bands directed by Carl Martin performed on the streets of Norton. The Cooke Family of gospel singers are from here, as is bluegrass musician, Jack Cooke.

In addition to the music, the Norton area offers many outdoor recreation opportunities. On a clear day from the summit of High Knob, you can view majestic Appalachian peaks in Virginia,
Coeburn Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 17, 2015
2. Coeburn Panel
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Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Coeburn. East of Norton lies the town of Coeburn The mountains have always influenced Coeburn's musicians and the area is home to a brilliant Appalachian musical dynasty, the McReynolds family. The music goes back many generations, but it was Grandpa Charlie McReynolds who recorded the music of the family first, as part of the famed “Bristol Sessions” for Victor in 1927. After World War II, his grandsons, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, organized the first of many bands, all noted for musical virtuosity. Jesse McReynolds is the inventor of a complex and beautiful mandolin style, and the brothers are noted for their “walk” harmony vocals, and other contributions to bluegrass music. They are one of the bands that invented bluegrass, yet their personal style is totally distinctive and instantly recognizable. Jesse McReynolds continues to tour, and performs at home as often as he can.

The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Coalfields region, southwest Virginia is blessed with historic and contemporary music venues, musicians, and fretted
The Crooked Road Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 17, 2015
3. The Crooked Road Panel
instrument makers. Historically isolated, the region retained its strong musical legacy by passing traditions down through musical families to an appreciative community.

Old time mountain music, bluegrass, and gospel can be enjoyed all year long and several museums are devoted to showcasing the area’s rich musical heritage.

The Crooked Road winds through the ruggedly beautiful Appalachian Mountains and leads you to the major hotspots of old time mountain, music country music, and bluegrass. Alive and kickin’ for today’s fans, these venues preserve and celebrate musical traditions passed down through generations. Annual festivals, weekly concerts, radio shows, and jam sessions ring out to large audiences and intimate gatherings. Please visit the Crooked Road website to plan your trip to coincide with the current entertainment events.
Erected by The Crooked Road.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. In addition, it is included in the The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1920.
The Crooked Road Norton / Coeburn Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 17, 2015
4. The Crooked Road Norton / Coeburn Marker
36° 56.297′ N, 82° 36.52′ W. Marker is in Norton, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Wharton Lane and Norton Coeburn Road (U.S. 283), on the left on Wharton Lane. It is across the parking lot of the Quality Inn. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 660 US-58 Alt, Norton VA 24273, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Armed Forces Memorial (approx. 1.2 miles away); Norton (approx. 1.2 miles away); Napoleon Hill (approx. 2.7 miles away); Wise (approx. 3.1 miles away); Gladeville in the Civil War (approx. 3.1 miles away); a different marker also named Wise (approx. 3.3 miles away); The University of Virginia’s College at Wise (approx. 3½ miles away); Benge’s Gap (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norton.
More about this marker. The Norton panel has three photographs captioned “Flag Rock,” “Kate Sturgill,” and “Dock Boggs.” The Coeburn panel has three photographs captioned “Guest River Gorge,” “Jim and Jesse McReynolds with Janette Carter,” and “Little Stoney Falls.” The Crooked Road panel has two photographs captioned “The Carter Family” and “Dr. Ralph Stanley” and has a map of the trail at the bottom.
Also see . . .
1. Kate Peters Sturgill - My Stone Mountain Home.
(Submitted on November 23, 2015.) 

2. Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots-The Ballad of Frankie Silvers.

Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots-The Ballad of Frankie Silvers
(Submitted on November 23, 2015.) 

3. Dock Boggs - “Down South Blues”.

Dock Boggs - “Down South Blues”
(Submitted on November 23, 2015.) 

4. Classic Bluegrass Mandolin by Jesse McReynolds.

Classic Bluegrass Mandolin by Jesse McReynolds
(Submitted on November 23, 2015.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 271 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 23, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Jan. 19, 2022