Bobby Harrison

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WOODLAWN, Va. — Bobby D. Harrison, 79, of Woodlawn, went home to be with the Lord following a short bout with cancer on July18, 2014, at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born Sept. 17, 1934, in Galax to Arlie D. and Ethel Crawford Harrison. In addition to his parents, Bobby was preceded in death by two brothers, Earl Harrison and Willard Harrison, both of Galax; and one sister, JoAnn Hackler also of Galax. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Shirley Melton Harrison of the home; one son and daughter-in-law, Ronny and Donita Harrison of Woodlawn; four grandchildren, Chad Harrison and wife, Amy of Woodlawn, Hannah Boles and her husband, Josh of Tappahannock, Nathan Harrison and Kaylin Harrison of Woodlawn; three great-grandchildren, Logan Harrison, Lacey Harrison and Joanna Boles; and one brother, Carroll Harrison of Woodlawn. Bobby was a veteran of the United States Army, having served two tours of duty. Bobby was a widely known musician, regarded as one of the creators of what came to be known as the "Galax sound" within the genre of music that became known as bluegrass. Combining the drive and rhythm of old-time mountain music with the smooth harmonies of the brother duets that were popular in the 1930s and '40s, the Galax sound was born. He began making music in the early 1940s. He was highly respected and an often awarded guitarist and singer. Some of the groups he performed with were the Virginia Mountain Boys and the Foothill Boys, which made an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1972. He recorded albums for the County and Folkways labels, five albums of which are part of the Smithsonian Institute collection. His later music was made with The Harrison Family, a bluegrass-gospel group made up of four generations of his family. He was a faithful member of Landmark Baptist Church in Galax, where his son, Dr. Ronny Harrison, is the pastor. He served in the Sunday school, Soul-winning, and bus ministry for many years. He also served as a deacon and trustee for the church. Bobby retired from Sara-Lee Knit Products in Galax, where he was employed as a supervisor. A memorial service will be held at Landmark Baptist Church at 110 E. Center St. in Galax on Monday, July 21, 2014, at 2 p.m. Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 20, in the chapel of Vaughan-Guynn Funeral Home in Galax, from 6 to 9 p.m. The body will lie in state for one hour prior to the funeral service. Interment will follow in Monta Vista Cemetery, Galax. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Landmark Baptist Church, 110 E. Center St., Galax, VA 24333. A guest book is available online at Vaughan-Guynn Funeral Home is serving the family

Funeral Home
Vaughan-Guynn Funeral Home - Galax
201 West Center Street  Galax, VA 24333
Funeral Home Details
Published in Mount Airy Newspapers from July 19 to July 20, 2014
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