Tag: Keith Whitley

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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5 days ago

My Grass Is Blue

✝️ DON RENO | OCTOBER 16, 1984 ✝️

Remembering Don Reno… prodigious multi-instrumentalist (the first time he picked up a banjo 🪕, at the age of five, he found that he could play ‘Brown’s Ferry Blues’ and he could play banjo or guitar in any key without a capo)… innovator (pre-empted by Earl Scruggs as the first prominent three-finger banjo player during Reno’s World War II service, he went on to create a distinctively different banjo style featuring single-string and jazzy chordal phrases adapted from the guitar)… pioneer (first prominent flat-picking lead guitarist in bluegrass)… showman (could hold an audience’s attention for every moment of his live performances)... vocalist… songwriter and composer (with approximately 500 songs and instrumentals, the most prolific composer in bluegrass music history who was known to write 10 or 15 songs at a stretch)… and, of course, one-half of the IBMA Hall of Fame partnership Reno & Smiley, who tragically died 58 years young on this day, October 16, in 1984.

"[Snuffy] Jenkins was the man that told me and showed me how to use the third finger on a banjo. He took time out with me when I was very young." – “The Don Reno Story, Part 1: The Early Years,” interview with Bill Vernon, Muleskinner News, June, 1973.

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