“Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music” Spotlights Musicians from All over State | Entertainment



“Lots of things you couldn’t avoid, obviously,” Menconi said, reeling down a list of names and places, including Watson, bluegrass banjo legend Earl Scruggs, alternative rock pioneer Mitch Easter and the Winston scene. Salem, and the Chapel Hill scene of the 1990s that spawned Superchunk, Ben Folds Five, and Squirrel Nut Zippers. But some seemingly obvious artists didn’t make the cut.

“I played with a chapter of Ronnie Milsap, but ultimately decided it was beyond that,” Menconi said. “He’s one of the biggest, in the Hall of Fame (country music) and everything, and I’m sure I’ll hear from supporters of his request, ‘What is this? ‘

Randy Travis was another. But in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible, it was like, ‘Well, am I doing a chapter on someone in styles I’ve covered before? , or do I do the chapter on 9th Wonder and hip hop? ‘ So it was kind of an easy call.

Winston-Salem and the rest of the Triad play prominent roles in “Step It Up and Go,” starting with country music pioneer Charlie Poole, who worked in textile factories in Alamance and Counties. Rockingham. Menconi writes about how his artistry continues to trickle down to the bluegrass world and how his records have been massive hits – even though he has reaped little benefit from them. One of Poole’s most successful records was “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down Blues,” released by Columbia Records in 1925.



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