A Town Called Kill Devil Hills

8 November 2023

From sea to shining sea, life is a beach….at least it is on the edges!

Although we live on the Pacific side – seems we’ve been spending a lot of time closer to the Atlantic.  We recently visited beaches in Norfolk, Virginia and in Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Outer banks is the area where Orville and Wilbur Wright famously flew the first powered aircraft in Kitty Hawk, NC. 

Our concert was in Kill Devil Hills, NC – a very memorable show because of the enthusiastic audience (thank you, Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts!!)  – but what really got our curiosity going was the name of the city: Kill Devil Hills.

Once the concert was over, we spent some time with one of our hosts, David, who was more than happy (and probably asked often) to explain why the city had such a name.  In colonial times, ships full of molasses would frequently pass by on their way to ports further north.  The area had a treacherous coastline and shipwrecks were frequent.  Wrecked ships were quickly plundered, and barrels of molasses would be brought into the hills to make rum. Another name for rum was “Kill Devil” as it is told that the drink was strong enough to kill the devil himself.  Thus, the name Kill Devil Hills.

The beaches were lovely and the people welcoming….we hope to return soon!

No…..we didn’t try the rum!


  1. Posted by: Joyce Dietrich

    I just want to say we have had season tickets for the Outer Banks Forum for 3 years and have enjoyed all the shows we have seen but, your show the most enjoyable and entertaining. The background information you shared with us and the slideshow during each song were awesome. Thank you for coming to the Outer Banks and Kill Devil Hills and sharing your talents and a wonderful show. I hope I have the opportunity to see your show again.

  2. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Joyce! How lucky you are to have an organization like the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts bringing in entertainment and bringing together a wonderful group of folks who love a good show!! Sometimes we get criticized for sharing background information…but we are compelled to tell folks about John Denver as well as sing his beautiful music! We try to keep the talking to a minimum, lol, that’s debatable! Thank you for your kind words- we had so much fun performing for you!

  3. Posted by: Sue Bonnette

    Oh thanks for the nice story. I went there with my kids when they were younger and we went to the flight place and my son ended up making a paper model of the first aircraft ever. Also we really enjoyed jumping on the dunes there was a place there and you felt like you were out in the desert. I’m the I’m glad the audience was John Denver fans as I am you know.

  4. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Sue! Sounds like good memories of Outer Banks, NC with you and your kids. It was a little chilly on the beach but felt good after the long hot summer! We didn’t have much time to spend out there but we enjoyed it very much! – Anne

  5. Posted by: Bernie irwin

    Are you returning toOhio in 2024. Please come

  6. Posted by: Anne

    Yes Bernie, we will be in Hartsville OH and in Berlin. Cleveland is also looking at us, fingers crossed.
    Keep an eye on our website calendar and/or our newsletter…..concerts are added all throughout the year.
    Thanks for writing!

  7. Posted by: John Johnston

    My wife and I have a trip to Kill Devil Hills coming up December 1st! Sorry we missed you!
    Any good restaurants you’d recommend?

    John and Sally
    Brazil, IN

  8. Posted by: Anne

    Sorry to miss you too! We ate at the Black Pelican (Kill Devil Hills) and the Red Drum (nag’s head). I think all the restaurants try to be excellent, there is a lot of competition!

  9. Posted by: Beach Snyder

    Oops !! Orville’s brother was Wilbur. I enjoyed the video of the recreation of the original flight.
    At one time I had a letter that Orville Wright wrote my father in the 1920’s about developing an Air Force. Unfortunately, I no longer have it. Thanks for the historical remembrance and in keeping John’s music in our hearts.

  10. Posted by: Anne

    Oh my goodness!! thank you for pointing out that mistake! Haha, here I am changing history!
    I was able to correct this mistake on the blog (unlike the newsletter, in which my mistakes live forever!)
    Thank you again for letting me know.
    How amazing that your father received a letter from Orville Wright!

  11. Posted by: Carol Devlin

    I will try to leave a message again and I hope it works. The code is below and I’m gonna give it my best shot as Pat Benatar would say.

  12. Posted by: Anne

    You did it Carol!!! You broke that captcha code which gives hope to many others trying to comment on my blog!! Now you know…the captcha is CASE SENSITIVE (watch those capital and lower case letters) and there are NO SPACES. Most importantly KEEP TRYING!! I appreciate your persistence.

  13. Posted by: Diane Butler

    Our first time to the Outer Banks as well. Love seeing you all again missed Diane’s Indian flute but what a treat to see Chris and finally get the new CD. For you is inscribed on our wedding rings and John loves telling people about the song

  14. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Diane and John! Can you share the story John told about “For You?” I’d love to hear it. Mostly I’ve heard the story from his band members about him singing it, and hanging on to that high note longer and longer each time….I’ve heard him sing it that way, very impressive!

  15. Posted by: Diane and John Butler

    Loved the show! What a great surprise to have Chris Nole there and finally get to buy his second CD. For You is inscribed on our wedding rings. Thanks for the insight into the reason for the name of the city. Missed Diane sad to hear she has stopped performing.

  16. Posted by: Pam Bland

    We just returned from our first trip to the Outer Banks ourselves. I had seen you were going to be in concert at the very same short time we were, but we weredriving a camper and our very large dog was with us. You guys were probably sold out anyway, but we thought about ya. We were camped further south in Rodanthe, which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We loved it there. I am sure you will go back. We know we will , and if we can’t catch a concert before, we will try to be there when you are performing there again!!

    All the best for the holidays, guys!!!

  17. Posted by: Anne

    Hello Pam! We are glad you had a great time camping in Rodanthe – it was sure beautiful where we stayed…a little chilly but we were ready for that after a long hot summer, lol. Thank you for writing and for thinking of us! We are looking forward to the next time we see you!

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