Smithsonian Magazine

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A Musical Tour Along the Crooked Road
Grab a partner. Bluegrass and country tunes that tell America’s story are all the rage in hilly southern Virginia

By Abigail Tucker
Smithsonian magazine, September 2011

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains are known for their speed demons. The moonshiners of old tore over country roads in 1940 Ford coupes, executing 180-degree “bootleg turns” and using bright lights to blind the revenue officers shooting at their tires. Legend has it that many of Nascar’s original drivers cut their teeth here, and modern stock car design is almost certainly indebted to the “liquor cars” dreamed up in local garages, modified for speed and for hauling brimful loads of “that good old mountain dew,” as the country song goes.

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