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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Monroe’

Died On This Date (December 29, 2012) Mike Auldridge / Dobro Legend

Posted by themusicsover on December 29, 2012

Mike Auldridge
December 30, 1938 – December 29, 2012

Mike-AuldridgeMike Auldridge was a much respected master of the resophonic guitar, or as it is more commonly known, the dobro.  Born in Washington, DC, Auldridge began playing the guitar at the age of 13.  He eventually transitioned to the dobro, but didn’t began playing music full-time until he was around 40, when the Washington Star-News closed its doors.  He had had been earning his living as a graphic artist for the paper.  In 1971, Auldridge c0-founded the Seldom Scene with a handful of musicians he jammed with each week.  The band, much to the chagrin of traditionalists, married bluegrass with jazz, folk, and rock.  By doing so, they were pioneers of progressive bluegrass, or what they called “acid grass,” which has been popularized by such jam bands as String Cheese Incident. As an in-demand session player, Auldridge played on records by Bill Monroe, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and many more.   During the ’90s, he played in Chesapeake with former members of the Seldom Scene.  Over the course of his career, Auldridge was awarded a Grammy as well as numerous other accolades, and in 2012, he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow.  Mike Auldridge was 73 when he died of cancer on December 29, 2012.

What You Should Own

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Dobro / Blues and Bluegrass (Reissue) - Mike Auldridge

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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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Died On This Date (September 12, 2012) Wade Mainer / The Grandfather Of Bluegrass

Posted by themusicsover on September 12, 2011

Wade Mainer
April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011

At 104 years old, Wade Mainer was one of the last of bluegrass’ founding fathers.  He has been cited by no less than Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe as an influence on THEM.  Born and raised in the poverty of the Blue Ridge mountains, Mainer took up the banjo at local square dances where he’d pick up the bands’ instruments while they were on break in order to practice.  By the mid ’30s, he was making his first records as part of the Mountaineers.  Mainer left the group during the late ’30s and formed Sons of the Mountaineers which included Clyde Moody on guitar.  The group eventually signed to Bluebird Records who released their 1939 hit, “Sparkling Blue Eyes.”  During the late ’30s/early ’40s, Mainer cut some 165 records for RCA Victor – both solo and as part of other groups, making him one of the most prolific musicians of the era.  It should be noted that the Sons of the Mountaineers were instrumental in transitioning old-time music into bluegrass, and that Mainer’s unique two-finger style of banjo picking begat the technique of three-finger utilized in modern bluegrass.  In 1953, Mainer decided to retire from music in order to commit his life to Christianity.  He and his wife moved to Flint, Michigan where he spent the rest of his working life at General Motors.  He returned to music during the early ’60s when he was convinced to lend his skills to several gospel and religious themed records.  In 2008, Mainer celebrated his 101st birthday with a special concert.  Wade Mainer passed away peacefully on September 12, 2011.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.


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Died OnThis Date (July 30, 2011) Trudy Stamper / Grand Ole Opry Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on July 30, 2011

Trudy Stamper (Born Gertrude McClanahan)
DOB Unknown – July 30, 2011

Trudy Stamper was a country music pioneer who is perhaps best remembered for her tireless work on building the Grand Ole Opry brand.  Born and raised in Nashville, Stamper moved to New York City after college in order to pursue a career on the stage.  It was while back home visiting and talking up the theater scene, that she was overheard by an executive at the powerful WSM radio station and offered the chance to be one of the first female radio personalities in the United States.  While at WSM, Stamper hosted a shopping program and acted in several of the station’s soap operas until eventually moving off microphone to a position in artist relations for the Grand Ole Opry.  Through her New York connections, Stamper was able to bring the Opry to Carnegie Hall for two nights in 1947.  The performances which included Minnie Pearl and Ernest Tubb, helped introduce the Opry and country music in general to more “cosmopolitan” audiences.  She also handled Opry bookings and artist contracts for many years and eventually became the Public Relations Director for WSM and the Opry.  In 1961, Stamper publicized the Opry’s second event at Carnegie Hall.  That bill included Bill Monroe, Jim Reeves, Grandpa Jones, Faron Young, and one of her best friends, Patsy Cline.  She retired from the music business in 1964.  Trudy Stamper was 94 when she passed away on July 30, 2011.

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Died On This Date (July 8, 2011) Kenny Baker / Bluegrass Fiddler

Posted by themusicsover on July 8, 2011

Kenny Baker
June 26, 1926 – July 8, 2011

Kenny Baker was a legendary bluegrass fiddle player who is perhaps best remembered for the 25 years he served in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys.  He was called the “Greatest Fiddler in Bluegrass.”  Baker learned to play the fiddle at a young age, and after working in the coal mines of Kentucky and serving in U.S. Navy, he decided to make a career out of playing the instrument.  He was soon hired on by country great, Don Gibson who took him on the road.  Along one of Gibson’s tours, Baker met Monroe who asked him to join his band, with whom he made his first records December of 1957.  By the time he left Monroe in 1984, Baker had played with him more than any other musician before or since.  He went on to record numerous albums, both his own and as a sideman for many years on such iconic roots labels as County and Rounder.  His most recent, Darkness On The Delta, came out in 2004.   Kenny Baker passed away on July 8, 2011 as a result of a stroke he suffered earlier that week.  He was 85 years old.

What You Should Own

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Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe - Kenny Baker

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