Gene Beley. Courtesy of Birthplace of Country Music.

Here’s a round-up of briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Writer who covered Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison to speak in Bristol

Gene Beley, one of the journalists who covered Johnny Cash’s historic concerts at Folsom Prison, will share his experiences with the iconic country music artist at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol on September 29 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The talk is complementary programming to the special exhibit 1968: A Folsom Redemption on display now at the museum through October 20.

It was early January 1968 when Gene Beley and Dan Poush, a writer-photographer team working for the Star Free Press out of Ventura, California, and national magazine freelancers, were invited to go to Folsom Prison for the show. Beley was the only person to capture the “Night Before Rehearsal” of the Folsom Prison concert. Sony Music made the rehearsal into a separate album and packaged it into a box set for the 50th anniversary celebration in 78 RPM records for collectors. Beley has appeared in three Johnny Cash documentary films as a commentator on Cash’s life during his redemption years of 1968-1969.

Beley will share memories, photos, personal stories, and audio clips from that weekend, giving attendees behind-the-scenes access to Johnny Cash’s visit to Folsom Prison on January 13, 1968, along with other successful concerts in 1968 and 1969. 

Tickets to the Gene Beley event are $15 plus tax/fees, and ticket holders may participate in a curator-led tour of the 1968: A Folsom Redemption special exhibit for free 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. prior to the program, which begins at 7:00 p.m. There will also be an audience Q&A after Mr. Beley’s talk.

For tickets and more information about the Gene Beley talk at the museum, visit the Events page at

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Bridgewater Marina raises $26,433 for Make-A-Wish

Bridgewater Marina & Boat Rentals recently presented a check for $26,433 to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia. The funds were raised via the year-long “Feed the Fish for Make-A-Wish” campaign at the marina, which donates 100 percent of popcorn sales.

In six years, the initiative has generated $147,590 for the Richmond-based nonprofit, according to Bridgewater Marina Partner Ryan Waters. 

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Appalachian Peace Education Center marks 40th anniversary Oct. 2.

The Appalachian Peace Education Center (APEC) will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Sunday, October 2nd at 4pm at Pleasant View United Methodist Church, 18416 Lee Highway, Abingdon, Virginia. 

APEC has been promoting peace and justice in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee since 1982 when volunteers from the region banded together to oppose the nuclear arms race.

John McCutcheon and Eugene Wolfe will perform.

John McCutcheon is a folk singer and multi-instrumentalist. Eugene Wolfe is an actor and singer, known for his many roles on the Barter Theater stage and for his recent one-person show, “The Book of Mamaw.”

APEC’s celebration will also include presentations of the Peace and Justice awards to longtime local activists. Beth Bingman and Rich Kirby were early volunteers with APEC. They have both promoted regional music and education through their work at Appalshop. Margaret Gregg is an artist. Forty years ago, she created the APEC logo still in use today.