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Horton brings 'Songs & Stories from the Civil War' to Fun Fest

Submitted by D. Wayne Strong • Jul 14, 2019 at 10:30 AM

KINGSPORT – The Tri Cities Civil War Round Table (TCCWRT) and Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts will present “A Civil War Evening with Bobby Horton” as part of Kingsport’s Fun Fest celebration.

Horton will present “Songs & Stories from the Civil War” at 7 p.m., Monday, July 15 at the Renaissance Center in Kingsport. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the Fun Fest store inside the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce until 1 p.m., Monday, or at the door beginning at 5:30 p.m. Theater doors open at 6 p.m.

His “Songs and Stories from the Civil War” will transport the audience into the most turbulent time in America’s history.

During the American Civil War, music played a prominent role on both sides of the conflict. On the American Civil War battlefield, different instruments including bugles, drums, and fifes were played to issue marching orders or sometimes simply to boost the morale of one’s fellow soldiers. Singing was also employed not only as a recreational activity but as a release from the inevitable tensions that come with fighting in a war. In camp, music was a diversion away from the bloodshed, helping the soldiers deal with homesickness and boredom.

Nationally known for his gift of storytelling, Horton shares the history of Civil War music and songs dressed as a 19th century performer and using period instruments to explore the stories of both North and South through the music they loved.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Horton’s lifelong passion for music and history began at an early age. With a trumpet-playing father and a banjo-playing grandfather, he was exposed to a varied menu of music - from the sound of the big bands, jazz combos and classical to the old-time sounds of Southern gospel, sacred harp and “hillbilly” music.

In 1984, Horton was asked to produce the score for a feature film set in 1863 in Southern Indiana. While researching music from the mid 19th century, he uncovered literally thousands of tunes from that period. Combining his passion for music and Civil War history, he began recording what has now become 14 volumes of authentic Civil War tunes in his home studio – playing all of the period era instruments and singing all the parts himself. This series is sold around the world and has led to a career in film scoring and a live presentation of these songs with the stories that accompany them.

Widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities of music from the Civil War period, Horton has composed and performed music scores for 13 Ken Burns’ films including “The Civil War” and “Baseball,” two films for The A&E network, and 20-plus films for The National Park Service. His series of recordings of authentic period music has been acclaimed by historical organizations and publications throughout America and Europe.

At the Fun Fest event, members of the TCCWRT will be on hand to distribute program playbills, membership forms and the most recent newsletter. There will also be tables filled with Civil War hardback books, paperbacks, magazines, CDs, VHS tapes and other historical items for sale at a huge savings. Members will also have dinner with Horton prior to the program at 4:30 p.m., Monday at The Chop House. To reserve a spot to join the group for dinner, contact Wayne Strong at (423) 323-2306 or email trustwrks@aol.com.