By Nathan Ham
It has been over 35 years since the much-beloved P.B. Scott’s Music Hall hosted its last show in Blowing Rock. For many of the musicians that played there and the fans that remember spending many nights listening to the music, P.B. Scott’s will never be forgotten.
On Sunday, March 10, 3pm-7pm, the coordinator of the past PB Scotts Reunion Parties at Canyons, Jean Travers, has planned an amazing four-city 10th anniversary event. “Lisa Whittington started the Facebook page on March 10, 2009 and it just so happened that I realized it at a perfect time to be able to have a celebration,” Travers said. “We want as many faithful PBers as possible to attend. It’s crazy, but we’re doing it in four different cities in hopes that PBers and music lovers that graduated or moved away, can reunite. Anyone can attend the parties, but we especially hope to see our long lost PBs family.”
Travers has said that “it’s not a private party, it’s a reason to party,” a mantra that she hopes will bring out a bunch of fans and former musicians that made so many great memories at P.B. Scott’s.
Numerous anniversary gatherings have taken place over the years, organized by former Canyon’s owner Bart Conway and Randy Kelly, who ran P.B. Scott’s during its heyday.
This one, however, will be the first to take place simultaneously at four different locations across North Carolina.
“I think it’s a cool opportunity that doesn’t happen very often. Venues will have big screen TVs and we’re sending website URLs to each venue to play some videos from bands that were playing at PB Scott’s,” Travers said. “We want to feature only bands that played under the Dome, the ones we loved and followed.”
The four locations will be at Twigs Restaurant and Bar in Blowing Rock, 1841 Café in Lenoir, DJ’s Restaurant and SkyLounge in Salisbury and Rally Point Sports Grill in Cary. The celebration will begin at 3 p.m. and last through 7 p.m. or later.
“Twigs is special, because its as close to the original PB Scotts location as we can get”, Travers explains. “The parking lot between PBs, Coffey’s (Twigs), and Clyde’s was a popular place’. We want to recreate the moments that stayed alive inside us to this day.”
“These parties are not concerts, however I have found that there are a lot of musicians on the PBs page and I would like to get them to join in. If they would like to bring instruments and jam, that’s great, but it is not a concert. It’s a party for people to get together,” said Travers.
Travers said she picked the four locations based on where the majority of P.B. Scott’s fans live now. One of the ways she ended up building up a list of fans and their locations was having some P.B. Scott’s stickers made for holiday gifts.
“I wanted to make P.B. Scott’s stickers to send to people for Christmas.” Travers laughed. “I thought I’d get 25 stickers and we’d be done. I ended up sending almost 500 sticker requests through the Facebook page! I couldn’t even send out Christmas cards. Then we started doing t-shirts and PBers bought 121 famous short and long-sleeve Tee-shirts and could have made more. Now I have a database of people that follow us.” She considers that a win-win.
The bumper stickers say, “When The Music Was Everything” and feature the wooden dome everyone loved to dance and stomp inside of. Travers said it makes all the effort worth while when PBers tell her “Thank you for keeping the memories alive”.
Looking at the four locations, Travers feels like Lenoir venue, 1841, may end up having the best turnout.
“People from Lenoir, Granite Falls, Morganton, Hickory, that whole area, they would come up the mountain to P.B. Scott’s as soon as they could drive,” she said. “They are still loyal to this day”.
The list of terrific musicians that played at P.B. Scott’s is long and distinguished. Just a few of those acts include B.B. King, Marshall Tucker, Muddy Waters, Greg Allman, Doc & Merle Watson, George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Emmylou Harris, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Molly Hatchet, Mike Cross, Harry Chapin, Don McLean, Hank Williams Jr., Pure Prairie League and Rita Coolidge.
Travers hopes that this event will bring together music lovers and interesting stories of climbing up and down the mountain to see bands back then. She also wants to build momentum for future PBs celebrations.
“When we were in college at Appalachian and going to PB’s, we were 18, 19, 20 years old, and the band members were only 23-28 years old. They were our heroes on stage, and we were just poor college students. Now that we’re all in our 60s, we’re all the same age,” said Travers. “It’s a different thing now. We’re all the same people suddenly, and we’ve all got stories about going to PBs. The bands have stories, the attendees have stories. Now that we’re at a different mindset in life, why not party together and share the stories? P.B. Scott’s was so unique. We were the lucky people from that era to have gone there and been fortunate enough to see great bands when there were only 20 people in the audience.”
Some of those future celebrations will include “Round Ups” of former P.B. Scott’s musicians that might want to return to the High Country and put on a show where it all started for them over 30 years ago. Travers says, “Stay tuned…..”
To share your own memories of P.B. Scott’s Music Hall or to reconnect with others on Facebook, be sure to join their special Facebook group, Remembering P.B. Scott’s Music Hall in Blowing Rock.
Bands that played P.B. Scott’s from a plaque that hangs in the P.B. Scott’s Room at the Horton Hotel in Downtown Boone