The Tradition

The cast of the Old Dominion Barn Dance, ca. February 18, 1956. Left to right: Allen Shelton, Roy Russell, Curley Howard, Irving Gurganus, Buster Puffenbarger, Sunshine Sue, John Workman, Zag Pennell, Janis Martin, Audie Webster, Earl Webster, and Carl Butler. Comedian/bass player Joe Phillips aka Flapjack sits at front. Photo courtesy of Matt Levine.

Notes & Queries – July 2023

Old Dominion Barn Dance  Multi-instrumentalist Matt Levine recently shared this photo of the Old Dominion Barn Dance that he won on eBay. He noted, “I actually got it pretty cheap. I usually don’t get photos on eBay, but I couldn’t pass that up.” From the looks of the various people in the shot, program attendees…

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The Dillards, c. 1966, left to right: Dean Webb, Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, Mitch Jayne. Photo courtesy of Diana Jayne, Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum collection.

There Is A Time, 1962-1967

One day in 1953, Earl Scruggs answered a knock at the door of his suburban Nashville house. Standing there was a sixteen-year-old kid with a banjo and a grin as wide as the Mississippi River. It was Doug Dillard, and he wanted to know if Scruggs would sell him a set of “Scruggs tuners,” a…

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Muleskinner & Clarence White

Fifty Years Ago a Landmark Band was Formed and a Guitar Legend Passed Muleskinner The story of the legendary, extremely-short-lived band Muleskinner began fifty years ago when fiddler Richard Greene received a phone call from the public television station in Los Angeles. The station asked Greene to put together an all-star band of younger bluegrass musicians…

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Memories of Paul’s Saloon

San Francisco’s Bluegrass Home In 1969, a man bought a bar in San Francisco. The man was Paul Lampert and the bar was a run-down joint called the Paragon, located at 3251 Scott Street in San Francisco’s Marina District. After a remodeling job, the bar reopened, reborn as Paul’s Saloon, with seating for slightly more…

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The Doc at 100 Group (left to right): Dr. Ted Olson, T. Michael Coleman, Jack Lawrence, Jack Hinshelwood, Wayne Henderson. // Photo by Dan Mirolli

Classics Never Go Out of Style

March 3rd, 2023 would have been Doc Watson’s 100th birthday.  His influence on bluegrass and old-time music is undeniable. For guitar players, learning to flatpick Doc’s version of “Blackberry Blossom” and fingerpick “Deep River Blues” was almost considered a rite of passage.  Countless players spent countless hours slowing Doc’s records down so they could steal…

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The Tate Brothers/Gospel Trio. Left to right: Bob Tate, Jim Tate, and Dan Hatfield. Photo courtesy of Shari Ann Tate Holmberg/Tate Family

Notes & Queries – June 2023

Queries  I just borrowed a copy of a release on John’s Gospel Records, RI-1635, 12” vinyl 33 1/3 RPM.  Side A appears to be the Stanley Brothers with the same song list as Wango 103, while Side B is Clyde Moody, the Tate Brothers & the Gospel Trio, along with recitations by Ray Davis.  There…

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