Freeman presented with classic Gibson

Published 10:22 am Thursday, May 21, 2009

More than 80 years ago, the musical group known as The York Brothers, originally from Louisa, Ky., made their way to Ironton, playing their brand of country and blues around the Tri-State.

They played on WPAY Radio out of Portsmouth and ended up at a place called “Ted’s Ten High” in Detroit, Mich., where they gained a recording contract.

George York played a Gibson guitar and the guitar and the Yorks had many adventures, traveling and performing across the U.S. even performing on the Grand ‘Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tenn.

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George and Les York were famous for such hits as “Kentucky” and “Blues.”

The tradition of music didn’t die when the brothers passed away.

The next generation of the York Family had sisters and brothers that performed at their father’s church and also churches all over the U.S.

The current family generation of music lives on through the Joe Freeman Bluegrass Band.

Many have heard of them and they are very well known throughout the Tri-State.

They are regular performers on the America’s Bluegrass television show on WSAZ on Sunday mornings. This band has two great nephew’s and one great-great nephew of George and Les York.

This past Saturday at a Joe Freeman Band Bluegrass Performance, Joe was presented with that same Gibson guitar that George York used more than 80 years ago.

The guitar was originally given to Ethel Stollings, a niece of the York’s from Lexington, Ky., who wanted it to stay in the family. She gave it to Joe’s mother for Joe, knowing that he would cherish the guitar and the history behind it.