Posted by themusicsover on February 20, 2012
December 9, 1918 – February 20, 2012
Joe Thompson was a renowned bluegrass and old-time folk fiddle player who, for the past several decades, kept the tradition of black country fiddling alive around the world. Thompson was just 6 or 7 years old when he first picked up the fiddle, learning to play by watching his father. His first fiddle lacked strings so he fashioned them out of wire from a screen. By the time Thompson was 8, he had already landed his first gig, playing with his brother at local dances and such. He would continue to do so well into the 1930s. As the years went on, Thompson found himself touring the world and playing every major bluegrass festival along the way. He even graced the stage of Carnegie Hall. In 2007, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. And in 2009, he recorded and released an album with the popular African-American neo-trad trio, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The album, Carolina Chocolate Drops & Joe Thompson was released to cheers from fans and critics alike. Joe Thompson was 93 when he passed away on February 20, 2012.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.
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Posted in Bluegrass, Musician | Tagged: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Joe Thompson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on February 4, 2012
Thomas “Snuffy” Smith
DOB Unknown – February 4, 2012
Snuffy Smith was a notable luthier as well as a banjo picker himself who, over the course of his career, was entrusted by countless musicians for repairs and such. Working out of North Carolina, Smith developed the Snuffy Smith Bridge which is the preferred bridge of banjo pickers of all stripes and is sold all over the world. In fact, some Gibson banjos come already fitted with his bridge. Smith was reportedly suffering from different health issues in recent year and died of an apparent heart attack on February 4, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.
Posted in Bluegrass, Musician | Tagged: Snuffy Smith | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 12, 2012
DOB Unknown – January 12, 2012
Charlie Collins was a legendary multi-instrumentalist who is best remembered for playing in Roy Acuff’s band for over 25 years. It was 1966 when he joined Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys, and he remained until Acuff’s passing in 1992. Collins next joined up with Bashful Brother Oswald with whom he played for many more years. After Oswald passed away in 2002, Collins joined the Grand Ole Opry Dance Band. In fact, until the week prior to his own death, Collins played the Grand Ole Opry nearly every weekend. Over the years, he graced recordings by the likes of Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Norman Blake, and Mark O’Connor. Charlie Collins was 78 when he passed away on January 12, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.
Posted in Bluegrass, Country, Musician | Tagged: Bashful Brother Oswald, Bill Monroe, Charlie Collins, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Mark O'Connor, Norman Blake, Roy Acuff, Sam Bush, The Smokey Mountain Boys | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 24, 2011
Jody Rainwater (Born Charles Johnson)
1920 – December 24, 2011
Jody Rainwater was a bluegrass pioneer who found his calling as a teenager, at first playing the mandolin. Before long, he and is brother were performing as Chuck and Slim, the Johnson Brothers. The boys built a local following thanks in part to their comical on stage banter. In 1937, they were hired by High Point, North Carolina radio station, WMFR to perform live every Thursday evening. By 1945, the duo were no longer together, so Rainwater enlisted in the Marines and served during WWII. Upon his discharge, he formed the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys with Woody Hauser and developed an onstage persona known as Little Jody. By the late ’40s, they disbanded, and Rainwater was soon playing bass alongside Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys. The band had a hit with the Rainwater composition, “I’m Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling.” Upon doctor’s orders, Rainwater retired from the group in 1952 and went to work hosting a morning radio show on WSVS. His program quickly became the biggest money-maker at the station and would continue to be until his retirement in 1984. He also performed local gigs with his own group from time to time during this period. Jody Rainwater was 92 when he passed away on December 24, 2011.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Bluegrass, Musician, Radio, Songwriter | Tagged: Blue Ridge Mountain Boys, Earl Scruggs, Jody Rainwater, Lester Flatt, Little Jody, The Foggy Mountain Boys, The Johnson Brothers, Woody Hause | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on November 28, 2011
DOB Unknown – November 28, 2011
Tom Roady was a much respected drummer and percussionist who is perhaps best remembered for his recent work with Ricky Skaggs. Roady can be heard playing on Skaggs’ latest offering, A Skaggs Family Christmas, Volume 2, and was gearing up to go out on tour with Skaggs. Throughout his long career, Roady played with the likes of Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez, Bob Seger, and Kenny Chesney. Earlier in his career, Roady was a session player at the storied Muscle Shoals studio, working for Jerry Wexler, and playing on tracks by Lynyrd Skynrd, James Brown, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, and many more. As reported by CMT, Tom Roady was 62 when he passed away in his sleep on November 28, 2011. Cause of death was reportedly attributed to heart problems, although he had been battling cancer.
Posted in Bluegrass, Country, Musician | Tagged: Bob Seger, Dixie Chicks, Etta James, Jerry Wexler, Joan Baez, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Ricky Skaggs, Tom Roady, Vince Gill, Wilson Pickett | Leave a Comment »