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Archive for the ‘Bluegrass’ Category

Died On This Date (May 8, 2012) Everett Lilly / Bluegrass’ The Lilly Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on May 8, 2012

Everett Lilly
July 1, 1924 – May 8, 2012

Photo by Michael Keller

Everett Lilly was a respected mandolin picker who, along with his brother, Bea Lilly, were known to the bluegrass world as the Lilly Brothers.  The Lilly Brothers got started singing on their local Appalachia radio stations during the 1940s, and folks took to their sound which has been likened to that of the Blue Sky Boys and the Monroe Brothers.  In 1952, they moved to Boston and are largely credited to bringing bluegrass to New England.   They quickly became a popular draw at area folk clubs, coffee houses, and festivals.  The Lilly Brothers went on to record several albums for such labels as Folkways and Prestige.  Prior to going off with his brother, Lilly played and sang for Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry as part of their Foggy Mountain Boys.  He also played on several of their early records.   In recent years, Lilly performed alongside his sons in the Lilly Mountaineers.  Everett Lilly was 87 when he passed away on May 8, 2012.

Thanks to Amy Cool Dorsey for the assist.


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Died On This Date (March 28, 2012) Earl Scruggs / Bluegrass Icon

Posted by themusicsover on March 28, 2012

Earl Scruggs
January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012

Photo: Mark Humphrey / AP

Earl Scruggs was a world-renowned and highly influential bluegrass musician whose three-finger style of banjo picking has since become the standard by which all other pickers are judged.  In fact, the particular practice of using picks on the thumb, index finger, and middle finger is now commonly referred to as Scruggs Style.  Scruggs got his start as part of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys during the mid ’40s.  But it wasn’t long until he and fellow band mate, Lester Flatt left to form the Foggy Mountain Boys.  In 1962, Flatt & Scruggs (as they were known when performing as a duo) and singer, Jerry Scoggins, recorded “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” for  a new weekly television comedy, The Beverly Hillbillies.  The tune quickly became a country hit and remains one of the most recognizable TV theme songs to this day.  In 1969, Flatt & Scruggs won a Grammy for “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” and Scruggs won one again for his 2001 remake with such guests as Steve Martin, Vince Gill, and Marty Stuart. In 2008, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. Scruggs remained a popular concert draw well into the 2000s whether he was playing at bluegrass festivals or sharing the stage with bands like String Cheese Incident whom he greatly influenced.  Earl Scruggs died of natural causes on March 28, 2012.  He was 88.

Thanks to Eric Foss at Secret Stash Records for the assist.

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Died On This Date (February 20, 2012) Joe Thompson / Bluegrass Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 20, 2012

Joe Thompson
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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Family Tradition - Joe Thompson

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Died On This Date (February 4, 2012) Snuffy Smith / Respected Banjo Maker

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.

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Died On This Date (January 12, 2012) Charlie Collins / Played With Roy Acuff

Posted by themusicsover on January 12, 2012

Charlie Collins
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.

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