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.
Back when I was a senior in college, I did an independent study on Bluegrass Music in music and movies, as well as the hillbilly influence. I was fortunate to interview several folks who went on to win many IBMA awards, Grammys, and more. One of those was Ralph Stanley, with many thanks to James Alan Shelton for setting up that interview 14 years ago. It was right during the success of the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and bluegrass music was gaining popularity more than ever.
That interview with Ralph Stanley led to multiple papers and presentations. I sent James a copy of the paper and he sent back a signed cover sheet signed by everyone in the band. He also sent this post it note. I came across it today while going through some things. It made me smile because he was always friendly to everyone he met. He would also send me a Christmas card each year. We lost James Alan Shelton a couple of years ago, but I know many of us remember his kindness.
Today, spread a little bit of kindness towards someone, whether it be the cashier, a coworker, or a family member. We could all use a little bit of sunshine in this world that we live in today. You can make a difference in someone’s life.