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WCNY presents ‘Bluegrass Ramble’ 40th anniversary special Labor Day

WCNY will present a 40th anniversary “Bluegrass Ramble” special on Monday, Sept. 3, at 10 p.m. on WCNY channel 24.1 It highlights Bill Knowlton’s 40th anniversary Bluegrass Ramble Picnic, held Aug. 5 at Dwyer Memorial Park in Little York. The one-hour program celebrates the Bluegrass music legacy of Central New York and features interviews and music from the picnic.

The annual picnic started after WCNY launched Bill Knowlton’s Bluegrass Ramble radio show in January 1973. Since then, Bill Knowlton has organized and emceed the event.

This year’s program features The Easy Ramblers, winners of the Syracuse-area music award for best country group, and Dyerswitch, an Albany-area legendary band that made its first appearance at the picnic. Thirteen other acts performed, including Ramble regulars, The Lost Boys, The Delaney Brothers and The Salmon River Boys, which played at all 40 of the Bluegrass Ramble Picnics.

Knowlton, who lives in Liverpool, is known as “Mr. Bluegrass of Central New York.” He hosted the first all-bluegrass radio show in New York City in 1960. Knowlton arrived in Syracuse as a U.S. Air Force public affairs officer. In 1997, he was named “Broadcast Personality of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association. He emcees at least 13 Bluegrass festivals every year and writes liner notes for bluegrass and old-time country music artists.

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