Performing in memory


First Posted: 7/12/2009

Every year family members and friends are helping the memory of a late Surry County musician live on in more ways than one.
Friday at the 7:30 p.m. at the Blackmon Amphitheatre, the annual Jimmy Lowry Tribute concert will provide an evening of music and dancing in memory of Jim Lowry, and it will also raise money to help a student musician follow in his footsteps.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Jimmy Lowry Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is given to a Surry County student that excels in music. The scholarship fund is part of the Surry Arts Council annual arts scholarship awards, which includes scholarships from Gilmer-Smith Foundation, The P.M. Sharpe Scholarship and the Kester Sink Endowment Scholarships. Additional scholarships are provided through the Sandy Beam Scholarship and the Hal Brownfield endowments. In May, $6,275 was awarded for arts scholarships.
Jennie Lowry, the daughter of Jimmy Lowry, helps organize the annual tribute to her father, and she would like to see the scholarship have longevity and continue in the future.
The Jimmy Lowry Tribute began shortly after Lowrys death in 2006, but Lowrys daughter said 2008 is the first year the performance became a scholarship benefit.
Weve already given away a scholarship for this year, proceeds from Fridays concert will go to one student for the upcoming year, she said, noting that the student who received a 2009 scholarship was Zach Barth, a graduating senior at Surry Central High School. We hope to have a big turn out so we can raise lots of money.
Lowry is a musician herself and owns Old Mill Music at 1301 W. Pine St., which sells instruments and offers lessons, fine tunes and repairs.
Music, thats all Ive ever known, that was my upbringing, she said of her fathers musical influence on her.
Jimmy Lowry was a Mount Airy born musician who was well known for playing in the 1960s with the King Bees, a Mount Airy based rock and roll band. He was also known for performing in Nashville, Tenn., with Donna Fargo, a country singer from Mount Airy who earned fame in the 1970s with her hit Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A. While in Nashville, he also performed with Steve Jarrell and Sons of the Beach before moving back to his hometown with his family.
Lowry said her father was a big advocate of both education and music, which is why she felt it was appropriate to let the proceeds of the tribute help students who are aspiring musicians seeking degrees.
I think my father would think that this would be the best way to spend money. He loved music, he believed in music and furthering education. He and my mom graduated from the (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), she said.
The tribute will include performances by Steve Jarrell and other members of Sons of the Beach, and The Lowry Gang featuring Jennie Lowry (vocals), her mother Sylvia Lowry (vocals), Jennies husband Rick Caudill (bass), Will Jarrell (guitar) and Tim Callaway (drums). Tickets are $10 and Shelton Wine and Dairy Center hot dogs will be sold at the event.
For more information, call the Surry Arts Council at 786-7998.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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