Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.
I always love a good ‘did you know’ fact when it comes to Kentucky musicians. Way back in time on June 17, 1010, Red Foley was born in Blue Lick, Kentucky, near the community of Berea. He became a major figure on the Grand Ole Opry in the 1940s and 1950s.
Red Foley helped establish the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and Radio Show. He was well known for his hit song “Peace in the Valley,” as well as “Old Shep,” “Tennessee Saturday Night,” and Sugarfoot Rag.” His song, “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” reached #1 on the country and pop charts in 1950.
Red Foley has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One is for his recording career, located at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard. The other is for his television career, located at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard.
In 1967, he would become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. You can even see his corncob pipe on display at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum. In 2003, a Kentucky State Historical Marker was placed at his boyhood home in Berea, Kentucky. In 2006, his 1951 version of “Peace in the Valley” was entered into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.