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South Carolina man in search of “The Country Cousins”

In 1954 a group of students at Johnson County High School formed a country/ bluegrass band. We called ourselves “The Country Cousins.” The band consisted of Joe Wilson, Junior Ward, Ray Berry, Stanley Stout, Brian Adams, Jack Swift, Conrad Ward, and female vocalist Virginia Simcox.
We did numerous shows at assembly in high school; did personal appearances in Johnson County and Virginia, and had a radio program on WATA radio in Boone, NC every Saturday morning. We did country and bluegrass because we enjoyed doing it. We didn’t try to put on a big show like some do now. We played from the heart, and I think the people who saw and heard us could see that’s why we performed. I hope some of the people in Johnson County and Boone still remember us.
Out of the eight original members, five have passed away. First to die was Stanley Stout, then Ray Berry, Junior Ward, Brian Adams, and just last month we lost our announcer, Joe Wilson. I always said Joe was the best announcer I ever knew. He did a great work in promoting folk music throughout the world.
Now there are only three of the original eight left alive: Jack Swift, Conrad Ward, and Virginia Simcox. I would like to say to those who have passed on and those still alive – Thank you for letting me be a member of “The Country Cousins.” It was an honor.

Conrad Ward
Surfside Beach, SC