'Songs of Haywood County' wins state award
"Songs of Haywood County" written, performed and produced by Buddy Melton, Milan Miller and Mark W. Winchester, has won the Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians.
The 12 songs, all original bluegrass and folk tunes, were based on real life characters and historical events with titles such as "Maggie of the Valley," "Papertown," "Sam Love Queen, the Dance King" and "The First Man They Hanged in This County."
Judges commented that the CD "is exceptionally remarkable in every category. We were astounded at the talent of this trio....We were either on the up and up with toe-tappers; or, we were as low as we could go with tear-jerkers. But what a ride. How blessed Haywood County is to be represented here."
Out of 84 entries in the category, "Songs of Haywood County" won by a unanimous vote.
Melton is an internationally known fiddler and vocalist with the International Bluegrass Music Association award-winning bluegrass band Balsam Range based in Haywood County.
Miller, a Tuscola High School graduate now a resident of Nashville, was nominated for IBMA's bluegrass songwriter of the year in 2012 and played guitar on the album.
Stand-up bass player Mark W. Winchester of Nashville toured with the Grammy-award winning band Nash Ramblers and Emmylou Harris. He and Miller performed in Haywood County this year at the Plottfest Gala.
"Songs of Haywood County" was released in conjunction with Haywood County's Bicentennial in 2008.
The award was announced Saturday night at the Society's annual banquet in Mooresville at the Hilton Garden Inn.