Linda Cabe is not a native of Wilkes County but has resided here since the 70's. In mid-1990 she became fascinated with the old-time music her friends were playing and, as a result, was introduced to Emily Spencer, one of the best old-time musicians and teachers in the area who taught stringed instruments for years through Wilkes Community College. Linda drove to Sparta every Monday night and learned to play clawhammer-style banjo and became acquainted with many musicians throughout the region. For 3 1/2 years she played with a group in Ashe County doing civic events, benefits and playing for each of the nursing homes and adult day care facilities almost every Saturday.
County Records, a Virginia based independent record label, was founded by David Freeman in 1963. They specialized in old-time and traditional bluegrass music. Their first release was drawn from his personal collection of old-time 78 rpm recordings from the 1920s and 1930s featuring Charlie Poole, the Leake County Revelers, Crockett’s Mountaineers and other similar bands. The label’s first release of new music in 1965 was recorded and produced by Charles Faurot. It featured new recordings of Wade Ward and debuted fiddle and banjo players Fred Cockerham and Kye Creed. They expanded into the bluegrass world later in 1965 with the record Blue Ridge Bluegrass (County 702) featuring Larry Richardson and the Blue Ridge Boys. In 2002, founder Dave Freemen was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.