A journey through American Music with Pastor Chuck Owston
The McKeesport History & Heritage Center
Thursday, November 14, 2019
The McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center
$2.00 for Non-Members
Free for Members
Tickets are available at the door day of the event
Rockabilly Hall of Famer Chuck Owston is currently pastor of the Bryn Mawr Church of Christ in McKeesport, PA. Jokingly he is often referred to as the "Rockabilly Reverend."
Charles E. Owston has been playing and singing American roots music in a variety of forms for over thirty years. In the early 60's he did field research in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, studying our folk heritage from those who were keeping the folk tradition alive. His graduate thesis was a result of these studies.
In his program, accompanied by guitar, harmonica, slide steel guitar and mandolin, he takes the audience on an educational journey to the very origins of today's popular sounds. The music runs the gamut of styles, including ballads, work songs, tall tales, blues, spirituals, rag-time, railroad tunes, and mountain music.
Not only do we learn the history behind such songs as "John Henry", "Muleskinner Blues", "The Wreck of the old 97", "The Midnight Special", and "This Land Is Your Land". Charles Owston also introduces us to the great singers of years gone by; Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Jimmie Rodgers. There is audience participation with humorous tunes like the "Bullfrog Blues, and the (fill in the blank with the name of your school, group, or town) Boogie, a song adaptable to the local area.
Charles Owston has performed for schools (elementary through high school), colleges, universities, women's clubs, coffeehouses, arts and folk festivals, church groups, civic organizations, and correctional facilities. He has played his music in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and South Carolina.\
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