Esley: The Life and Musical Legacy of Leslie Riddle

esley photo

If you want to hear some great regional music and learn about the evolution of early country and blues, this show is for you! There’s over 25 songs in this production!
Based on a true story, this play features Ash Devine as Mother Maybelle Carter, Saro Lynch-Thomason as Sara Carter , JJ Ponton as Esley and several others! The play is about the life and music of Leslie Riddle and the Carter Family, and their role in song preservation in the Appalachian mountains.
As a young man, Burnsville native Lesley Riddle frequently went to gatherings of musicians from all over the nearby Appalachians. It was at one of these impromptu sessions that he met A.P. Carter, of the Carter Family Singers. After Carter heard him sing and play and invited Riddle to travel the Appalachians with him. They collected tunes they heard being played and sung on the porches of mountain cabins. Those songs were the beginnings of Country Music.

*As an African-American, Leslie Riddle was never permitted by the Carter’s producers to record or perform with the Carters, but his influence on their music is clear. This play is part of ongoing efforts to make the record straight about African-American influences in early country music!*
At the Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC for three weekends starting June 26th. Visit for a detailed schedule and tickets.

Show times are as follows:
Saturday June 27th, 7:30pm
Sunday June 28th, 3:00pm

Saturday July 4th, 7:30pm
Sunday July 5th, 3:00pm

Friday July 10th, 7:30pm
Saturday July 11th, 7:30pm

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