Young Country reunites to play 29th annual Bedford Bash in August
The local group first played at the event back in 1992
• 6-10 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, in Bedford, Ky.
• Featuring door prizes, food, live music, street dance, children’s activities, car show.
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BEDFORD, Ky. (August 2018) – It’s easy to see that all of the band members of Bobby Robbins and Young Country enjoy what they are doing. They will return this year as the featured band for the 29th annual Bedford Bash on Friday, Aug. 17, in Bedford, Ky.
A popular local band, Young Country was formed in 1990 “when I got out of the Navy,” said front man Robbins. “Ronnie Dunlap and I started the band, but he eventually moved on.”
Robbins, who has known Dunlap since grade school, said that when he would come in from the Navy, people would often through parties to welcome him home for a visit. He ran into Dunlap at one of these parties, and since they both had guitars, they starting playing and singing. “It just felt good.”
Robbins came from a country background and Dunlap from a bluegrass background. Robbins told his friend that “when I get out of the Navy, we’re going to start band.” When that day finally came, Robbins returned home to find that Dunlap had already bought equipment and was going to hold him to his word.
“We found the right combination,” and Young Country was formed, said Robbins. The band toured all over and things really “blew up for us.”
“We all put a lot of work into it, but things started to slow down about 10 years ago,” he said. Everyone had families and other interests and commitments, and the band couldn’t play as many gigs as they once did.
Bobby Robbins (top left) leads the Young Country band in concerts around the region.
In the past, Robbins said Young Country has opened up for the likes of Martina McBride, Marty Stewart, Tracy Lawrence, Aaron Tippin, Toby Keith, Sammy Kershaw, Ty Herndon, Joe Diffie and Confederate Railroad. “Back in the early ’90s, we opened for many of them at the Kentucky Speedway and Coyote’s bar in Louisville,” he said.
The car show is also a memorial for three deceased members of the community: former sheriff Howard Long, former deputy Denny Long and volunteer firefighter and EMT Mark Rexroat.
Last year, the band got a call to open for the Charlie Daniels Band at the Swiss Wine Festival, and thought they’d give it a try. After experiencing a long hiatus, “we decided it was so much fun that we’d stay together,” said Robbins.
Young Country will take the stage from 7-10 p.m. at the Bedford Bash. The band first performed there in 1992. Robbins still has a T-shirt from that concert that he plans to wear at this year’s event.
The band’s current lineup includes Robbins on vocals and rhythm guitar; Tom Steveley of Madison, Ind., on lead guitar; Kerry Mefford of Carrollton, Ky., on drums; Ronnie Green of Madison on bass; and Joe Perkinson of Milton, Ky., on keyboards. They also are scheduled to perform at the 2018 Tobacco Festival in Carrollton, opening for Ronnie McDowell.
“We’ve played music for a long time,” he said. Robbins credits the long-term success of the band to the fact that “when you watch us play, you see that we’re truly having fun every time. When we play the songs, it feels like it’s the first time we’ve played them. We’re all good friends; we laugh and cut up and enjoy what we do.”
There is a lot of community support for the Bedford Bash, said April Craig, one of the event’s organizers. Craig is a Compliance Officer with Bedford Loan & Deposit Bank, the entity that sponsors the Bedford Bash every year.
The Bedford Bash will take place from 6-10 p.m. in Bedford, Ky. Community and school groups, such as the Trimble County High School Band, will perform between 6-7 p.m., with a concert by Young Country to follow.
Many local businesses participate in the event, said Craig. Their booth fees help sponsor door prizes and giveaways. The drawing for the kids door prizes will be held at 8 p.m. and for the adults at 9 p.m. The top prize will be a cash award, and participants must be present to win.
“There are usually about 30-40 sponsors,” Craig said, comprised of local merchants, business people and individuals within the community. “We only let non-profits set up. It’s a sort of fundraiser for groups like the basketball team and different organizations.”
The Bedford Bash began when the bank extended its operating hours to 6 p.m. The goal of the event was to promote local businesses and encourage them to stay open later on that date.
Each year T-shirts are designed, and proceeds benefit a local charity, United Ministries. Craig helped design the 2018 T-shirts along with two or three other local people.
A street dance is always part of the event, and all side streets in Bedford are closed off for it around Trimble County Court-house Square. Other favorite amenities the crowd looks for is the Bedford Fire Department’s fish fry and the Rotary Club’s hamburgers.
A little over a decade ago, a car show was added to the Bedford Bash. Proceeds from this year’s 12th annual Bedford Bash Car Show will go to the Trimble County Emergency Search Unit. Last year and this year, proceeds will be given in hour of the late Trimble County Sheriff Tim Coons, who died in March 2017 from cancer.
Participants register the day of the car show and “we usually have anywhere from 35 to 60 cars,” said Craig. The entry fee is $15, and there are door prizes, trophies and cash prizes.
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