Spirit of the Tri-States: sharing music across generations

The Tri-States are alive with the sound of music.

That's the case for a Lewis County family whose musical legacy now spans four generations.

In this week's Spirit of the Tri-States report brought to you by Continental Cement and Green America, KHQA introduces you to the Gillespie's to show you how they use their musical skills to bring joy to others.

Lucille Gillespie, 94, of Ewing, plays the guitar. She grew up learning how to play music by ear.

"My family was all musical," she said. "My dad played the fiddle and my mother sang all the time."

It was natural that she passed along that love of music to her sons, Larry and Kenny, and their children.

"I was probably a teenager, I guess, when I got started," Kenny Gillespie said.

"I think I was about eight when he started playing," Larry Gillespie said. "I started sneaking around playing his guitar when he didn't want me to."

Now, several decades later, four generations of the Gillespie family gather the second Friday of every month for Blue Grass and Gospel jams.

"I think it just helps us know that there's one thing that we really can share love with," Dorothy Gillespie said. "Our children have always been with it, and we just say they were born right here listening to it."

Members of the Gillespie family also share their musical gifts with others.

"We are usually free to help out with community events in appreciation days," Dorothy Gillespie said. "We go to the nursing homes, and we like to play at the senior centers. We do not charge for anything that we do. We're helping out with those organizations."

The Gillespie's said they also have family members who have created musical careers for themselves in other parts of the country.

For example, one of those family members is a senior music director for a church in Nashville, Tennessee while another family member became a music teacher in western Missouri.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off