It begins on the night of Saturday, April 20, 2019 in the Union County High School Auditorium when the announcer introduces the Union County Opry Band to play a musical tribute to entertainers that have come from Union County including Lois Johnson, Carl Smith, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff and Jim Wyrick. “The good Lord above has poured out a special bucket of talent on Union County,” said Danny Cooke.
Maynardville is now home to The Union County Opry. Known as the Cradle of County Music, Union County is noted for its musical heritage; four of its sons are now known throughout the world–Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Carl Smith, and Kenny Chesney. Lois Johnson, Hilda Kitts Harrill, and Melba Kitts Greene are among its best known women entertainers (https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/union-county/).
The fiddler has played his last tune for the night, but Bitt Rouse will not soon be forgotten. Most people would not know of whom you were speaking when you mentioned Palmer Stiner Rouse, because nearly all his life he was known by his nickname. My sister, Dorothy Kitts, had him as a 5th grade student at the old Rush Strong School in Lead Mine Bend. Then he was called “Bitty” Rouse because he was so small for his age, but he grew to quite a tall man. The nickname was shortened to “Bitt.”