Sisters Dee Dee Norton Buckner (left) and Denise Norton O’Sullivan with Bill Monroe at the music festival on Zeno Ponder’s farm in Jupiter, North Carolina, 1980. The festival had a great line-up of talent including Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Jim & Jesse, and Rita Coolidge and was set in a stunning location. But the death of Zeno Ponder’s son over the weekend left a cloud over the festival and attendance could not have been lower. It was a complete bust and discontinued after the one event.
Dee Dee and Denise, as most Madison County residents know, have grown up to be very accomplished ballad singers in the tradition of their great-grandmother, Dellie Norton. The ballad tradition, for which Madison County is considered a source community, offered much of the raw material for Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and other Bluegrass and Country artists. It's a tradition Madison County and the entire nation can be proud of.