051305cloggers.jpg“Say what you will about the Friday Night Jamboree,” says Hubert Roberson, former owner of the Floyd County Store, “but it’s sure put Floyd on the map.” Yes, the Jamboree is — to many visitors — what this area is all about: bluegrass music, clogging and a down-home good time.

The Jamboree has gone through many changes — and owners — since Hubert, his brother and other local musicians began jamming on Friday nights around a pot-bellied stove in the early 1970s. Hubert bought it after Freeman Cockram, who turned the informal jam sessions into a commercial event in 1984, defaulted on the store’s mortgage. He sold it in 1999 to two lawyers from Raleigh-Durham, NC.

Now the ownership of the store is back in local hands. Woody Crenshaw, owner of Crenshaw lighting and one of the lead investors in a plan to revitalize downtown Floyd, bought the store and promises changes that he says will make it even more a part of the town’s heritage.

Let’s hope that whatever changes Crenshaw makes don’t change the basic appeal of the Jamboree — a place where people of all ages can have a good time and hear some great Bluegrass music for $3 inside and out on the street for free.