A scan of your radio dial while you are driving through western North Carolina will probably take you to a radio station that has been broadcasting old-time and bluegrass music from Surry County since the late 1940s. Started by Ralph Epperson, radio station WPAQ 740 AM has produced—Merry-Go-Round—a weekly live broadcast of local, regional and national performers since February 2, 1948, making it the second longest-running live radio show in the United States. The Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running live radio broadcast in the nation.
Musicians who grew up in Surry County acknowledge that they learned many of their very first old-time songs from WPAQ's weekly broadcast. The show has hosted regional and national music legends, such as Tommy Jarrell, Benton Flippen, the Carter family, Mac Wiseman, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and Bill and Charlie Monroe.
In 1997, WPAQ's Merry-Go-Round moved to the Earle Theatre in downtown Mount Airy where the live broadcast cold accommodate a live audience in the historic theatre. You can catch live bluegrass, old-time and gospel music as it is being aired on WPAQ every Saturday, 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Plan to arrive early at 9 a.m. for jam sessions held in the theatre. Admission is $5 or free with a Surry Arts Council season pass or a $20 Merry-Go-Round annual pass.
July 26, 2017
Stroll Down Memory Lane in Revamped Griffith Museum
The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy has reopened following a 2017 renovation of more than half a million dollars that touched on every aspect of the popular attraction.
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Looking for wedding barns in NC’s Yadkin Valley wine country? Seven of the best wedding barns are found in Surry County. Dream weddings come true at these rustic venues framed by beautiful mountain views.
March 19, 2017
Charlotte Five explores what Mount Airy has to offer
Travel writer Sara Kendall gives her take on a wonderful day trip in Mount Airy -- touring Mayberry, eating locally, and visiting some select cultural icons!
Jan. 22, 2018
Mount Airy's Main Street Named Best Attraction in NC
It is easy to spend a day (or two) along Main Street checking out such places as the Mayberry Squad Car Tours, Floyd's City Barbershop, Historic Earle Theatre, Opie's Candy Store, Snappy Lunch, Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, Old North State Winery and several Mayberry-themed shops.