John Lupton

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A native of Wilmington, Delaware, John Lupton's love of music began as a child in the 1950s when his father assembled a Heathkit hi-fi system, tuned it to the classical music station in Philadelphia,…
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A native of Wilmington, Delaware, John Lupton's love of music began as a child in the 1950s when his father assembled a Heathkit hi-fi system, tuned it to the classical music station in Philadelphia, and never changed the dial again. Coming of age in the Sixties, he absorbed not only the music of the Beatles, Doors, Moody Blues and many others, but also the Limeliters and Kingston Trio records his sister was bringing home. Late at night, smuggling an old Zenith clock radio under the covers, he started listening to the country and bluegrass music making its way over the airwaves from faraway stations in Nashville, Wheeling, Cincinnati and points beyond. His college years were spent during the early 1970s in Austin, Texas, just when the music scene there was hitting its stride. Although he earned a degree in broadcast communications, he entered the business world and left the prospect of a career in radio behind. Returning to Delaware, he became involved with the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music, a non-profit group that staged two annual festivals, the Brandywine Mountain Convention and the Delaware Bluegrass Festival. He joined the group's board of directors in 1989 and eventually served as president for severla years in the 1990s. In late 1989, the opportunity arose to get into radio in the form of a weekly country music show on WVUD-FM, the non-commercial station operated by the University of Delaware, and in December of that year, Lupton and his long-time friend George Mercer began broadcasting "Rural Free Delivery" on Saturday afternoons. The show, which was still going strong in 1999, featured a mix of all types of country music, but focused especially on bluegrass, old time and classic honky-tonk. In 1991, Lupton broadened his musical horizons when he began working with another local Delaware group, the Green Willow Folk Club, which specialized in presenting touring Celtic and British Isles musicians, and he eventually joined the board of that organization as well. Having gotten into the personal computer field in its earliest years, Lupton began working in 1993 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as a computer networking engineer and administrator, and was still there in 1999. In 1996 he was invited to begin writing record reviews and articles for Sing Out!, the long-running magazine of folk music, and by 1999 his work had also been published in print in The Old Time Herald and MusicHound Folk: The Essential Album Guide, and on the web with the All Music Guide and Music Boulevard. John Lupton still lives in the Wilmington area and continues to work with the Brandywine Friends and the Green Willow club in promoting music festivals and concerts, while looking forward to more opportunities to explore and write about music. While admitting his own musical talents are amateurish at best - on a clear day, he says he can see Mediocrity - he enjoys playing guitar and Dobro, and looks forward to attending as many festivals each year as possible.

"Desert Island" discs (in no particular order):

Mike Auldridge, "Treasures Untold" (Sugar Hill)

Jann Browne, "Tell Me Why" (Curb)

Doc & Merle Watson, "Down South" (Ryko)

Clint Black, "Killin' Time" (RCA)

Tony Rice, "Tony Rice Plays and Sings Bluegrass" (Rounder)

Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, "Bakersfield Bound" (Sugar Hill)

Highwoods String Band, "Feed Your Babies Onions" (Rounder)

Suzy Bogguss, "Somewhere Between" (Capitol)

The House Band, "Stonetown" (Green Linnet)

Eileen McGann, "Turn It Around" (Dragonwing)

Emmylou Harris, "Blue Kentucky Girl" (Warner Brothers)

Konnarock Critters, "Corn Bread and Sweet Peas" (Marimac)

Seldom Scene, "Old Train" (Rebel)

Country Gentlemen, "Joe's Last Train" (Rebel)

Hot Rize, "Take It Home" (Sugar Hill)

Kathy Mattea, "Untasted Honey" (Mercury)

Ann and Phil Case, "The Springtime of Life" (Dry Run)

Hank Williams, "The Singles Collection" (Polydor)

Norman Blake, "Whiskey Before Breakfast" (Rounder)

Utah Phillips, "Good Though!", (Philo)

Laurie Lewis, "Love Chooses You" (Flying Fish)

Merle Travis, "Folk Songs Of The Hills" (Bear Family)