Emergency manager/musician Mark Johnson to be on Letterman

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Wins Steve Martin Foundation award

By The Staff

Levy County Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson, also a musician, is the third annual recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. 

Along with the plaque, Johnson receives a $50,000 check, a sculpture by artist Eric Fischi and he will perform with Martin on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Sept. 24. The show airs locally on MyGTN, Channel 4, at 11:30 p.m. The award is bestowed by the Steve martin foundation. 

Martin, best known as a comedian, is also an award-winning bluegrass musician and plays a Deering Clawgrass Banjo named after Johnson's style of bluegrass.

Johnson who records with Emory Lester, a mandolin and guitar musician, has championed the Clawgrass style of banjo play.  

Johnson said he was stunned to receive the award. He was at home earlier this week when the FedEx truck pulled in to deliver the package containing the award.

Johnson, who is in his "busy season" as emergency management director, said he is worried about leaving the county for a  few days to rehearse and perform with martin on the Letterman show. 

But it is an opportunity to put forth the Levy County name on a popular TV program, he said.