And since then, the six of them have expanded their reach, and have evolved into the musical entity known as The Dill Pickers, an assortment of musical talents to set your feet tapping and keep your spirits high.
Now known as The Dill Pickers, the group includes Theresa McKibben, W. Scott Stewart, Kneeland Wright, Lesli Wright, Stewart Jackson and Norton Dill, who say their line of entertainment is really a string band that uses bluegrass instruments.
The Dill Pickers present their “Ole Time Radio Show” at Pell City Center Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. and will take you back to the times of gathering around the living room radio before the days of television.
The performance kicks off the center’s 2013-2014 season, and is one that will leave you with a smile on your face, said Pell City Center Executive Director Kelly Wilkerson.
Norton Dill was 10 years old when he got a ukelele for Christmas and now, he’s still a huge fan of string music. Norton is the owner of Dill Productions, a film and video production company for television commercials and documentaries.
Stewart A. Jackson is the group’s newest member and sings lead, back-up and also plays guitar and bass. He also works as a pastoral marriage and family therapist and is an ordained United Methodist minister.
Theresa McKibben is the music teacher at Edgewood Elementary School in Homewood and is also the associate music director for Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. She directs the Men’s Chorus, the Seeds of Faith Ladies’ Ensemble and the Choralier Children’s Choir. Theresa's husband, Rob McKibben, is an engineer with AT&T.
Scottie Stewart plays and sings bass for The Dill Pickers. He is from Tennessee and spends his time there on a 60-acre farm. He owns CHaCUS productions, creating television and radio commercials and specializing in working with car dealerships.
Kneeland Wright’s first guitar was paid for with S&H Green Stamps in 1966 and he’s been playing and singing ever since. He’s very involved at Trinity United Methodist Church, and is married to fiddle playing Dill Picker Lesli Wright.
The Dill Pickers put lots of good hearted humor in their shows, adding to the level of entertainment they offer.
You can call Pell City Center at 205-338-1974 to reserve tickets.
Next is Pell City Center’s Benefit Masquerade Party with the city’s own musical talent, The Wing Nuts, performing Oct. 26.
The event is a benefit for Pell City Center, and a reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with a live auction at 7 p.m. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
“People have been mentioning things they would like to have here, and we want to do more of these things,” Wilkerson said.
Those who attend are invited to get into the Halloween spirit and dress up for a grand costume contest prior to the show, or just come as they are for the occasion, he said.
Prizes will be awarded for the winner of the masquerade contest, and a photographer will be available for free photos.
The Wing Nuts include St. Clair County District Judge Alan Furr, Pell City Councilman Donnie Todd, Glenn Wilson, Mickey Farmer, vocalist Yvonne Davis and Jim Larson.
The members draw their name from the love of flying most of them share.
The Wingnuts perform classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“Murder in the Magnolias” in next in the lineup with The Pell City Players performing Nov. 14, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
The plot includes plenty of unexpected demises and uses parodies of characters and stories from almost any Southern play imaginable.
The Magic City Choral Society presents its Christmas Concert Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
“This is one we’re really excited about,” Wilkerson said. “To have so many voices in one place performing holiday music everyone loves is an occasion for all ages to enjoy.”
Admission is free with a donation of canned goods for Pell City’s Christian Love Pantry.
“That’s another great part of the event, it will help feed people who need food,” he said.
There will be 90 voices in the ensemble, and there is live piano accompaniment.
A new event this year is a New Year’s Eve Party Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. in the Pell City Center gym, and no shoes are allowed.
“This is something else people have talked about wanting, and we’re going to offer it,” Wilkerson said. “We’re really glad to get that input from the community.”
The party band Silk E Smooth performs and brings everything from big band favorites to Motown and fun funk.
There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages served.
Three on a String returns to Pell City Center Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. with their classic mix of great music and lots of humor.
The Voices of the South Barbershop Chorus perform March 23 at 2 p.m. They are the performing chorus of the Central Alabama chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
There will be an ice cream social held for all ticket holders at 1:30 p.m. prior to the performance.
The Pell City Players present a local favorite, “Dearly Departed” April 3, 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. and April 6 at 2 p.m.
The play delivers a good old red-necked family’s struggles to survive the ups and downs of their lives.
The season concludes with a visit from The Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra May 4 at 3 p.m.
Ages in the orchestra range from 15 to 80 and all share a passion for the music they perform.
The Pell City Center office is located at 25 Williamson Drive beside Pell City High School.