Click to enlarge• In the 1970s there were a lot of robberies in Fieldale. Mr. Stegall caught wind that Richard Martin's Service Station was going to be hit. He asked Mr. Martin to put a bucket of tar over the door leading into the office from the grease pit. For 2 weeks Martin did as he was asked. Finally he told Alfred that he was just tired of doing that every night. But the very next morning he called and said "There's tar everywhere!"

Alfred though he knew who was responsible so he went to the boy's home. The boy's mother let him in and when they opened the boy's closet there was tar all over everything.

• On another night there was a killing and the killer had barricaded himself in his house. When Alfred arrived there were State and local police on site. Alfred knew the man and as he walked up to the front door he called the man's name. He went inside and a few minutes later he walked out with a rifle and the man beside him.

• Alfred Stegall played guitar in the Virginia String Band that recorded with Fieldale resident Kelly Harrell twice in 1927. Stegall also recorded with Harrell at his last session in 1929. Alfred told me that he was with Kelly when Kelly sold his composition of AWAY OUT ON THE MOUNTAIN to Jimmie Rodgers. Rodgers, who is now called the FATHER OF COUNTRY MUSIC, was the first person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961.

Other musicians from Henry County who were pioneer recording artists included John "Red" Patterson from Fieldale who recorded in 1927 for Victor Records with his band, The Piedmont Log Rollers. Preston Young of Martinsville made the first recording of the song I'LL ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS in 1931. The song is now considered a bluegrass classic. Contributed by Kinney Rorrer


LINKS
: Music Clip J.A. Stegall & Others Recording "My Name is John Johannah - 1927

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