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Dave Vaught, "Fat Albert" Blackburn, & Tim White
The VW Boys' show is a unique blend of talent consisting of music, magic and comedy, a complete variety show. Audiences of all ages enjoy the VW Boys show; the VW Boys perform a wide range of shows from Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN to openings for comedic greats such as Jerry Clower and Don Knotts.
The VW Boys blend several different aspects of entertainment in their show. As banjo picker and singer Tim White says, " We entertain folks for an hour or so and help them forget their problems for a little while". A good portion of the VW Boys show is audience participation and the VW Boys have a way of going beyond the edge of the stage to really get an audience involved in the show. The VW Boys came together when musician Tim White and magician Dave Vaught worked together on a few shows. Dave would do a magic show and Tim's band would follow Dave's show with a Bluegrass concert and this worked very well. Both immediately came up with the idea to combine the two shows and the VW Boys was formed.
The VW Boys show fits any situation from conventions, fairs, festivals, clubs and private parties. The show is good clean humor and music; the VW Boys pride themselves on keeping a very professional show in front of every audience. As Dave Vaught says, "The VW Boys have over 75 years of combined experience in showmanship between the three of us." Music, Magic and Comedy, a great combination.
The group is composed of:
Tim White is the banjo picker and baritone singer for the VW Boys. He knew Dave Vaught for several years prior to both of these gentlemen forming the VW Boys band which features bluegrass music, magic and comedy in one self contained variety show.
Tim is also Executive Coordinator of Song of the Mountains, a nationally syndicated public television show featuring bluegrass, old time, and Americana music. Song of the Mountains was launched in 2005 and is based at the beautiful Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. The show is broadcast on over 190 PBS outlets across America with a potential reach of over 100 million people per year www.songofthemountains.org.
A well-known musician, recording artist, radio air personality, concert event promoter and music preservationist., Tim is native of Roanoke, Virginia and a current resident of Blountville, Tennessee. He produces and hosts “The Tim White Bluegrass Show” which airs across America on many radio stations and can be heard on the internet. Tim is a veteran of radio broadcasting. He started his career in radio in 1989 at Bristol, Virginia’s AM 1490 WOPI radio station and later broadcast for over 11 years on AM 640 WGOC a powerful 10,000 watt station based in East Tennessee.
Tim is co-founder of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) a non-profit organization promoting the music and lifestyle of the southern Appalachian region. The ACMA operates the Mountain Music Museum and the Pickin’ Porch stage at the Bristol Mall in Bristol, Virginia which showcases the music and performers of our region. www.pickinporch.org.
In 1986 he painted the now famous 30 x 100 foot mural on State Street in Bristol, VA-TN paying tribute to the Bristol Sessions of 1927. The mural pictures the main players of these historic sessions including Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family and Ernest, Hattie Stoneman and talent scout Ralph Peer.
In 2003, he helped take the music of the Birthplace of Country Music region to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. where the VW Boys performed along with other artists from this region. Tim and the VW Boys have also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, the Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee and many other prestigious venues. In 2008 Tim performed on the Grand Ole Opry at both the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN with Virginia’s native son, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.
Tim has organized and promoted scores of music concerts, festivals and events. He chaired the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the famed “Bristol Sessions” and ten related concerts a 14-day period throughout the region in 2002. Tim's relationships in the music and recording industry, his knowledge of bluegrass and old-time music, and his proven track record in event management and promotion uniquely qualify him as a leader in the bluegrass community.
Dave Vaught has been a professional entertainer for 37 years. He has performed music and magic on cruise ships, in night clubs, convention centers, schools and colleges, and at fairs and festivals. Dave has made ten television appearances including HBO and Show Time. While Dave is well known for his skills as a magician, he is also a fine guitar player with nine albums to his credit. Dave's musical career includes stints with Ronnie Millsap, Gary Morris, Sylvia, Jerry Reed, and Charlie Pride. Dave contributes a lot to the group with his skills as lead guitar player, harmony singer, drummer, comedian, and magician. When he isn't out entertaining someone, Dave Vaught resides in Bristol, TN. Please feel free to visit Dave at Top Hat Magic Supply located at 28 6th Street in Bristol TN.
Albert Blackburn, better known to fans and friends as “Fat Albert”, went to Hampton High School in Hampton, Tennessee and then graduated from East Tennessee State University. He moved to Marion in 1980 and was employed by the Virginia Department of Corrections where he still works as an Institutional Training Lieutenant. He co-founded the regional band “FESCUE”, that won many band competitions, including being a two time winner of the prestigious “Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention. The band entertained fans from 1982 till 2009, when the decision was made to give the band members a rest. “Fat Albert” was asked to assist the VW Boys during the absence of Larry McPeak, who was absent due to illness. Playing an upright bass and singing lead was the position the VW Boys needed and “Fat Albert” fit the bill. His exposure to “folk” music in his younger years instilled the love of singing and this love to sing continues to be reflected in the various realms of music he participates in. He loves the use of “harmony” in the Bluegrass music he has played for the past 31 years.
He is married to Tammy, his wife of 15 years, and has three stepchildren. All of the children are married. Albert and Tammy reside outside the city limits of Marion Va. He has told Tammy that he would like to have inscribed on his tombstone the words “He had a song in his heart for everyone”. He sings from the heart and wants everyone to enjoy the emotions of every song with him as he sings. He has a love of life and is quick with a joke or one liner and loves to laugh.
VW Boys have performed at:
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington DC
Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN
Kennedy Center - Washington DC
Groundhog Festival - Punxatawney, PA
75th Anniversary Celebration of the Bristol Sessions 2002 - Tri-Cities, TN
Dairy Festival - Elsie, MI
Doc Watson Days - Sugar Grove, NC
Lonesome River Band Festival - Spirit of the Sewanee, FL
Bass Mountain Park - Burlington, NC
Mayberry Days - Mount Airy, NC
Boyd's Bears new facility grand opening - Gettysburg, PA
Paramount Center for the Arts - Bristol TN-VA
Capital Theatre - Greeneville, TN
International Bluegrass Music Association - IBMA - Louisville, KY
Thomasville Cultural Arts Center - Thomasville, GA
Carter Family Fold - Hiltons, VA
Smithsonian to the Mountain Tour - 2004
Broom Festival - Arcola, IL
Mayberry Comes to Cocoa - Cocoa Beach, FL
PBS "Song of the Mountains" show from the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA
Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee Tom T. Hall Concert Series August 2005