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Posts Tagged ‘Del McCoury’

Died On This Date (May 29, 2012) Doc Watson / Folk Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on May 29, 2012

Arthel “Doc” Watson
March 2, 1923 – May 29, 2012

Doc Watson was an influential American singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose vast catalog of songs influenced several generations of folk, country, and bluegrass musicians.  Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, Watson lost his eyesight before his first birthday due to an infection.  But that by no means stopped him from picking up whatever instrument was handed to him.  First it was the harmonica around age five, then the banjo at age 11, and ultimately, the guitar on which he mastered a style of flat-picking that the world had yet to hear and would seldom be matched since.  Although Watson was a popular draw wherever he played throughout the ’40s and ’50s, it wasn’t until the storied folk revival of the ’60s – when college kids took to the music like never before or since, that his popularity reached new heights.  Throughout his career, Watson received countless awards which included seven Grammys, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Medal Of Arts from President Bill Clinton.  In 1988, he launched Merlefest to honor his son and music partner, Merle Watson, who was killed in a tractor accident in 1985.  The Wilkesboro, North Carolina festival has grown to be one of the premier music gatherings in the United States with Watson playing host and sharing the stage with the likes of Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, and Willie Nelson to name just a few.  The annual event draws an estimated 80,000 each year.  On May 29, 2012, Doc Watson passed away shortly following colon surgery.  He was 89.

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Died On This Date (December 18, 2011) Warren Hellman / Founder Of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Posted by themusicsover on December 18, 2011

Warren Hellman
January 25, 1934 – December 18, 2011

Warren Hellman was a successful private equity investor whose Hellman & Friedman rose to become a multi-billion dollar firm.  He was also a philanthropist and music junkie who founded AND funded San Francisco’s popular Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.  A banjo player himself, Hellman launched the Golden Gate Park event in 2001 to an audience of  just 13,000.  Since then, it has swelled to be one of the world’s greatest music events, drawing as many 500,000 each year over two days.  And the best part, it is FREE to attend as Hellman’s gift back to the city.  The inaugural festival presented just four acts on the main stage and another five on its second.  Performers included Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Hazel Dickens.   The 2011 event hosted over 100 performers including Chris Isaak, Bright EyesM. Ward, Steve Earle, Robert Plant, and Del McCoury.  Warren Hellman was 77 when he died from complications of leukemia on December 18, 2011.  Hellman reportedly left a trust fund to finance future festivals.

Do yourself a favor and attend Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival next year!



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Died On This Date (August 26, 2011) Liz Meyer / Contemporary Bluegrass Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on August 26, 2011

Liz Meyer
March 7, 1952 – August 26, 2011

Liz Meyer was an American born guitarist, singer, and songwriter who ultimately settled in the Netherlands and became one of the Europe’s most respected bluegrass artists.  Born and raised in Washington DC, Meyer moved to the Netherlands in 1985.  Over the course of her career, she released numerous albums and had her songs recorded by the likes of Del McCoury, Emmylou Harris, and Laurie Lewis.  She was a tireless champion of the European bluegrass scene and produced upwards of 30 albums for others over the years.  Her most recent album, The Storm features some of bluegrass and folk’s biggest names – Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, and Stuart Duncan to name a few.   Liz Meyer was 59 when she died on August 26, 2011, after a long battle with cancer.

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Died On This Date (March 30, 2011) Harley Allen / Country Singer & Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on March 30, 2011

Harley Allen
June 23, 1956 – March 30, 2011

Harley Allen was a country singer and highly sought-after songwriter.  Born to bluegrass legend Red Allen in Dayton, Ohio, Allen eventually landed in Nashville and began releasing a string of albums with his brothers, the Allen Brothers, and on his own.  In 2002, his voice could be heard on the Grammy-winning “Man Of Constant Sorrow” from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.  As an in-demand songwriter, Allen penned or co-wrote charting records for the likes of Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Del McCoury, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss and many many more.  His “The Baby” ended up being a huge hit for Blake Shelton.  Harley Allen died of lung cancer on March 30, 2011.  He was 55.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums


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Died On This Date (December 11, 2008) Wayne Yates / Played With Del McCoury

Posted by themusicsover on December 11, 2009

Wayne Yates
DOB Unknown – December 11, 2008

yates

Wayne Yates on left

Wayne Yates was a respect bluegrass mandolin player who played with his brother, former Country Gentlemen picker , Bill Yates, as well as with Del McCoury and Red Allen.   During the late ’50s, the Yates brothers formed the Clinch Mountain Ramblers who eventually added Allen who then took over the band and changed its name to the Kentuckians.  Wayne went off on his own after recording two albums with the group.  He was 75 when he passed away on December 11, 2008.



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