Cathy Barton Para’s musical impact stretches from coast to coast, most of the Ozark Mountains, along the rivers of Missouri and the mid-South, and in Boonville, her home for almost forty years.
She performed for decades along with her husband, Dave Para. In Boonville, they made a space for their cherished song with the Big Muddy Folk Festival, which fills Thespian Hall with folk tune traditions every spring.
Barton, 63, died on April 17 at domestic with pals and family. A memorial carrier is deliberate for three p.M. Saturday at First Christian Church in Boonville.
Born on June 12, 1955, in Fort Benning, Georgia, she moved around Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Hawaii, and eventually to Columbia, where she graduated from Hickman High School.
Her hobby in folk song and subculture sparked in Hawaii with ukulele training and visits to the Polynesian Cultural Center.
As a young, proficient banjo participant, Barton met Ramona and Grandpa Jones within the Arkansas Ozarks, and they introduced her to Nashville. In Tennessee, she twice gained the nation-wide antique-time banjo contest. She additionally played on “Hee Haw” at the Grand Ole Opry and have become Roy Acuff’s favorite banjo participant.
“She definitely had an outstanding proper hand and completely nailed the Grandpa Jones style of gambling,” stated fellow old-time banjo player Cathy Fink. “She also played in other patterns, however, the tough-driving clawhammer is what stood out for me.”
Barton ought to play any tool she picked up, and she becomes a grasp of the banjo, while a teenager. Joe Newberry recalls seeing Barton play for the primary time at a Hickman expertise display in 1972. She gained, playing “Dueling Banjos” by means of herself.
“It turned into, like, the best element I’ve ever seen,” Newberry stated, chuckling over the memory. “Her banjo playing changed into only a marvel to behold and to pay attention.”
In university, Newberry was roommates with Para in the basement of First Presbyterian Church on Hitt Street, wherein Para additionally booked acts for Chez Coffeehouse.
Barton played gigs along with her university string band and when it cut up, by way of herself or with friends.
“I turned into one of these friends,” Para stated.
Barton and Para spent more and more time collectively, and in 1979, they married at First Baptist Church in Columbia.
Newberry’s mom loved Barton and Para. She became inside the clinic on the day of the wedding. In between the wedding and reception, the couple stopped by means of Boone Hospital in their robe and tuxedo for a go to.
Para said he turned into quite certain the visit becomes Newberry’s idea, however, it becomes a laugh to walk inside the clinic of their wedding ceremony clothes to peer her.
“The human beings at the reception over there had been waiting a while, however, it changed into first-class,” Para stated.
In 1996, the Delta Queen steamboat called instantly to invite Barton and Para to play Ozark track on an Arkansas River cruise. More cruises on the American Queen and Mississippi Queen followed, and the pair performed riverboats until final November.

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