CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- GoodNight is often called the best night of the year in Charleston, and this year should be no different, according to George Daugherty, patriarch of The O'Daugherty Family Singers.
"It's a thrill," Daugherty said of the city's annual New Year's Eve celebration.
Music was a minor interest of Daugherty's, though he did have a few brushes with greatness early on. He was taught to play musical saw by Jarvey Eldred -- a Morgantown musician known for his act with famed comedian and then-ventriloquist Don Knotts
It wasn't until Daugherty started performing at the Capital City Jamboree -- a weekly music show on the city's West Side -- that he got serious about music.
"I was a drone, really, for years," Daugherty said of his need to live a more balanced life. "All I did was practice law, and I needed to relax."
The O'Daugherty Family Singers have grown to become a quintet, featuring the talents of Sally and Tom -- daughter and son, respectively -- and Daugherty's grandsons Devlin and Aidan.
"As the kids were born we added them," Daugherty said.
Buddy Griffin -- a well-known musician who founded the Bluegrass Music Certificate Program at Glenville State College -- and two of his students, Laikin Boyd and James Blankenship, will join the group.
"Buddy has been putting out tremendous players," Daugherty said. "They really add some spark to our music."
The O'Daugherty Family Singers' repertoire will be a tribute to veterans, as well as a way to honor those who have given a great service to the state. Tonight's performance is dedicated to Don Cohen -- founder of the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame. Cohen also started the Hershey's Track and Field Games, which started in Charleston as a way to get kids outside and interested in physical activity.
Ten of the 11 venues will open at 6 tonight and have performances every hour on the hour until 10 p.m. Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral will start its performances at 7 p.m. following an evening Mass.
GoodNight patrons can park for free after 6 p.m. in the Shanklin parking garage, next to City Hall on Virginia Street East. City trolleys will make stops at each venue throughout the night. Trolley rides are free, as is entry into each venue.
GoodNight is an alcohol-free, family-friendly event. For information, call 304-744-1400.
The GoodNight schedule of venues and performers is:
- Baptist Temple Fellowship Hall,
209 Morris St.
6 and 8 p.m.: Presby Pickers (Appalachian/old-time gospel)
7 and 9 p.m.: Appalachian Celtic Consort (music of the British Isles)
- WVSU Capitol Center Theatre,
123 Summers St.
6 p.m.: Gospel Brass Band (variety of music with gospel theme)
7 p.m.: B-Ties Dixieland Band (Dixieland favorites)
8 p.m.: Charleston Metro Band (country hits and TV commercial favorites)
9 p.m.: Mountain State Brass Quartet (traditional brass band)
- Civic Center Little Theater, Quarrier Street and Civic Center Drive
6 and 8 p.m.: River City Youth Ballet Ensemble
7 and 9 p.m.: Craig Hinchman Trio (pops, sacred and holiday music)