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Posts Tagged ‘Lester Flatt’

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 (December 24, 2011) Jody Rainwater / Bluegrass Pioneer

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.

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Died On This Date (May 11, 1979) Lester Flatt / Flatt & Scruggs

Posted by themusicsover on May 11, 2010

Lester Flatt
June 19, 1914 – May 11, 1979

Lester Flatt was a singer and guitarist whose remarkable talents added to the success of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys through most of the ’40s.  In 1948, Flatt teamed up with banjo great Earl Scruggs to form Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. Together they became one of the most popular bluegrass bands of their time and one of the most influential of all time. His smooth picking and rich voice can be heard on literally hundreds of songs that make up one of acoustic music’s most important catalogs. But perhaps Flatt’s biggest contribution to pop culture came by way of The Beverly Hillbillies for which they wrote and recorded its theme song, “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett,” backing singer Jerry Scoggins. They even appeared on the show as themselves a few times.  Lester Flatt died of heart disease on May 11, 1979.

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Died On This Date (September 9, 1996) Bill Monroe / Bluegrass Icon

Posted by themusicsover on September 9, 2009

Bill Monroe
September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996

Bill Monroe was a  bluegrass pioneer who more or less invented the genre whose name itself was  derived from the moniker of his own band, the Blue Grass Boys.  Born on the family farm in Kentucky, each of Monroe’s parents passed away by the time he was 16, so he spent the next two years living with his fiddle-playing uncle whom he often accompanied on mandolin at local gigs.  When he was 18, Monroe formed the Monroe Brothers with his brother Charlie Monroe and two friends.  The friends eventually left and the brothers continued as a duo, signing with RCA Victor in 1936.  In 1940, Monroe formed the Blue Grass Boys which soon included banjo great, Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt.  Now on Columbia Records, Monroe recorded a series of songs that would become the foundation of bluegrass music.  Those songs included “My Rose Of Old Kentucky” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” a cover of which became a signature song for Elvis Presley.   By the ’50s, bluegrass suffered from the coming of rock ‘n roll and the Nashville Sound of country music.  Things began to turn around thanks to the folk revival of the ’60s when Monroe’s music found an audience with young people who began embracing him as the “father of bluegrass.”  Bill Monroe passed away at the age of 84 on September 9, 1996.   He was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence the following year.

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Bill Monroe: Anthology - Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys

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