Category: Bluegrass History

Stanley Bros. / Jim & Jesse | Coeburn, VA | Bluegrass Trails

“Very few of the sleepy settlements along southwestern Virginia’s musical Crooked Road, if any, can top Coeburn‘s All-Star lineup of past and present bluegrass A-listers. The dual brother duo of Jim & Jesse McReynolds and Ralph & Carter Stanley are already bluegrass royalty, something Ralph Stanley II, the present generation of Clinch Mountain musicians, may attain someday.”

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Jimmy Martin | Sneedville, TN | Bluegrass Trails

“… Sneedville, Tennessee, may be one of the poorest towns in the US… but at least it can lay claim to being the hometown of Jimmy ‘King of Bluegrass’ Martin. Suffice it to say, this is the only reason we found ourselves on the streets of the town searching out signs of Sneedville’s favourite son while receiving inquisitive stares from the few locals we encountered; Sneedville is a friendly town (we got free coffee), but it’s still the kind of place where everybody knows everybody else and if you ain’t from round these parts then you’re gonna stand out. We did.”

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Grand Ole Opry

“What started out in November of 1925 as a simple for-radio broadcast of old-time music from Downtown Nashville on 650AM WSM, the WSM Barn Dance, is today the longest continuously running live radio programme in the world. Known since the late 1920s as the Grand Ole Opry and branded as ‘The Show that Made Country Music Famous’, the Opry‘s permanent home since 1974… has been the 4,400-seater Grand Ole Opry House located in the Music Valley neighbourhood some 9 miles east of Downtown Nashville. Both as big and as well-oiled a commercial enterprise as you’ll find anywhere in present-day Music City and a tourist must-do, embarking on a backstage tour of the Opry House… gives an awesome insight into what it is that turned Nashville into the centre of the country crooning rhinestone universe.”

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The Ryman Auditorium

“It was upon the Ryman Auditorium stage in December 1945 that the ‘Father of Bluegrass’ Bill Monroe presented to the world the sound of a new musical genre…. ‘bluegrass’, as it was to become known, was born. Today, bluegrass remains a staple on venerated stage where it started.”

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Keith Whitley | Sandy Hook, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“We returned to Sandy Hook in 2017. More bluegrass road-trippin’. Yes, the Keith Whitley statue is still there in the town’s Elliot County Memory Garden and the old timers are still frequenting the Frosty Freeze Restaurant to catch up with the local gossip over some simple, hearty fare. Needless to say, it was all very familiar. And all very familiarly quiet.”

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Ricky Skaggs | Cordell, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“Rural Kentucky is home to many a country and bluegrass music heavy-hitter, two of which – one dead, one very much alive – were of particular interest to us on this day, and we went searching for signs of them in two Kentucky towns that you’d probably otherwise have no reason to visit. First up was Cordell, KY boyhood home of one Ricky Skaggs.”

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The Crooked Road, VA | Bluegrass Trails

“… today old-time music and bluegrass festivals are as linked to the Virginia hills as the dark strands of dogwood and fir trees. The state even honours this legacy via its very own Heritage Music Trail along its so-called Crooked Road, a 300-mile-long regional route connecting 19 counties, four cities and over 50 towns and communities where heritage music is celebrated year-round.”

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My Grass Is Blue
✝️ JUNIOR BARBER | MARCH 8, 2017 ✝️ Remembering popular reso-guitarist Junior Barber, best known for his seven-year stint as the dobro don with Eric and Leigh, The Gibson Brothers, who died on this day, March 8, in 2017.💬 “He’s a legend up here [upstate New York], one of the first pro musicians me and Leigh ever got to work with. Junior was a super tasteful player, a real tone freak. He helped mold us into becoming better musicians, teaching us the importance of restraint, taste, and tone. Junior was a huge influence on us, and I am very thankful for that.” - Eric Gibsonℹ️ Junior Barber, born Antoine D. Barber Jr. in Chazy Lake, New York, was 17 when he discovered the captivating sound of the dobro. A music lover all his life, his younger years were spent dabbling with amplified instruments in a string of musical ensembles -- everything from country to garage rock – throughout the New England region. He eventually sold all his electric instruments and devoted the rest of his musical journey to the dobro and acoustic music, specifically his first love, bluegrass. He was both an avid educator and a student of the dobro and his work with The Gibson Brothers, starting in the early 1990s, was something of a family affair; his son, Mike, has played bass for the brothers since 1991. Nominated by the IBMA for Dobro Player of the Year five years running, Junior Barber was unable to play music after suffering a stroke in 2016 and died on this day in 2017 at the age of 73. RIP, Junior Barber. ✝️ #bluegrass #bluegrassmusic #mygrassisblue #Longlivebluegrass #JuniorBarber #juniorbarberdobro #dobro #dobroplayer #bluegrassdobro #reso #resonatorguitar #resoguitar #bluegrasshistory #musichistory #onthisdayinbluegrass #OTD #onthisday #otdinmusic #bluegrassquotes #bluegrassmusician #rip ... See MoreSee Less
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