The events help fund the organizationâ€™s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managersÂ of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The scholarships honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.
Banjo player Jonathan Barker, 19, of Copper Hill, Tenn. was selected as one of the 2013 winners. He is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville studying to be an emergency room physician. He is graduateÂ of Copper Basin High School in Polk County.
â€œIt is a distinct pleasure to be honored by Share America and receive this scholarship,â€ he said. â€œI know what a privilege it is to have the support of so many great people who help to make it possible.â€
Barker has played banjo for 11 years and also plays guitar and sings lead and harmony parts. He performs regularly with his older brother Jeremy Barker, his parents Scott and Angie and fiddler Westley Harris as The Barker Brothers.
He is the younger brother of 2007 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholar Jeremy Barker.
â€œMy brother began playing music and I thought that was the greatest thing in the world,â€ he said.
Since his beginning at age 8, with his family, he has performed numerous concerts including opening for legendary performer Ralph Stanley during his â€œOâ€™ Brother Where Art Thou Tour.â€ He won the â€œFanâ€™s Choice Awardâ€ at Raymond Fairchildâ€™s Maggie Valley Opry. He also added â€œThe Shotgun Red Showâ€ on RFD-TV in 2013 to a long list of television appearances.
â€œWe were honored to present a $500 scholarship to assist him as he continues his college studies,â€ said Share America Chairman Joe Turner.
Franks said that while the organization normally presents rising freshman, it had no regional applicants this year.
Â â€œWe are very excited by this particular scholar because in a way it is a legacy presentation since he is the second in his family to receive it,â€ he said. â€œBut also knowing we are helping a banjo playing doctor on his way, I know he will make a lot of people feel better whether he plays for them or treats them.â€
Barker is the son of Scott and Angie Barker of Copper Hill, Tenn. He is the grandson of Betty and the late Fred Verner of Turtletown, Tenn. and the late Wilford and Ola Barker of Copper Hill.Â
The groupâ€™s latest CD is â€œDriven.â€Â For more information about The Barker Brothers, visitÂ barkerbrothers.com.
Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, Turner, Gene Lowery, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president; and Adam Cathey.
The next Sacred Sounds Fridays isÂ Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.Â featuring the Testimony Quartet and special guest Ryan Stinson at the Ringgold Depot. Admission is a $5 donation. Franks will host the event.
Photo:Â ShareJonathanBarkeraward: Jonathan Barker (third from right) receives the 2013 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship from Randall Franks (second from right). Others joining the presentation are (from left) James Pelt, Share America Foundation secretary; Tom Morgan, entertainer; Joe Turner, Â SAF chairman; and Tom Adkins, entertainer. (Share America photo)