CLIFF WAGNER (AND THE OLD #7)
- From Los Angeles,
California. Wagner was born and raised in Mississippi.
- Attended the
Berklee College of Music (Boston).
- 1999, lived
and played bluegrass in New York City.
- 2000, moved
- Plays banjo
and fiddle, sings lead in his band, and writes most of their songs.
- Band: The Old
#7 includes Craig Ferguson (guitar), Devitt Feeley (mandolin) and Andrew Paddock
- 2007, appeared
on Fox TV's "The Next Great American Band" (an American-Idol spin-off).
Emory Gap, Tennessee, near Knoxville. Lives in Upstate New York.
name: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wakefield.
for his technical virtuosity on the mandolin. Influenced David Grisman and
many other mandolin players. One of the first to play jazz on the instrument.
to play music in rural pentecostal “snake-handling” churches around
up on a farm and never went to school. (He learned to read and write when
he was 28 years old.)
at age 19, moved to Dayton, Ohio and met Red Allen. They formed a group called
the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys.
worked for a short time with Jimmy Martin.
he and Red Allen formed The Kentuckians.
briefly worked with the Stanley Brothers.
with Red Allen, re-assembled the Kentuckians, this time in Baltimore. Other
personnel included banjo players Bill Keith, Don Reno, Bill Emerson, Pete
Kuykendall, Eric Weissberg; also fiddlers Chubby Wise, Scott Stoneman, others.
joined the Greenbriar Boys. While with the Greenbriar Boys, he was seriously
injured in an auto accident, putting him in a coma for more than a month.
began performing and recording as a solo artist and with his “Frank
- Has performed
with the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Boston Pops Orchestra,
Emmylou Harris, many others.
talent: he can talk backwards.
- From Kilpatrick,
- Formed in 1998.
- 1981-1989, Waldrep
performed with the Warrior River Boys (plays banjo).
- 1989, helped
form the Sand Mountain Boys.
- Hosts an annual
bluegrass festival on his Alabama farm every year.
- 2010, released
"Road Leading Home" CD on Blue Circle Records.
CLIFF WALDRON (AND THE NEW SHADES OF GRASS)
Northern Virginia; originally from Jolo, West Virginia.
played with a group called the Page Valley Boys.
began professional musical career with Bill Emerson. “Emerson and Waldron”
rcorded several albums for Rebel Records, and was the first to record the
Manfred Mann song “Fox on the Run” in a bluegrass style.
briefly with The Shenandoah Cutups before forming The New Shades of Grass
(1968-74), a group that recorded seven more albums for Rebel.
went to work for the National Park Service.
became a Christian and formed a gospel band.
had severe health problems which resulted in a kidney transplant.
retired from the National Park Service and returned to playing bluegrass music.
recorded a gospel album with Paul Williams.
- From Athens,
- Confined to
a wheel chair since childhood, he was born with Muscular Dystrophy.
- Began singing
as a child. At age 3, attended an Oak Ridge Boys concert and backstage, sang
"Elvira" with them. They were so impressed they invited him to sing
on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon, and he has appeared and performed on
that annual broadcast many times.
- 1996, graduated
from high school and fell in love with bluegrass
- 1998, formed
a band called the Trinity Mountain Boys.
- 2001, joined
Lost Horizon, an Atlanta-based group, as their lead singer.
- 2002, first
appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Third Tyme Out.
- 2006, released
album on Rounder Records, produced by Carl Jackson.
- 2007, won IBMA
award for Male Vocalist of the Year.
- 2008 (November),
his video of the song "A Little Change" reached #1 on CMT.
- From Lithia,
Florida (near Tampa)
- They are brothers
who began performing together in their teens. Cory plays banjo, guitar and
resonator guitar, Jarrod plays mandolin. Their brother Tyler, plays guitar.
Ages (June 2006): Cory, age 16; Jarrod, age 14; Tyler, age 10.
- 2003, Cory appeared
on the IBMA Awards Show with the "Young American Bluegrass Idols."
- 2004, appeared
with Keith Urban on a CBS TV special.
- 2005, appeared
on the IBMA's "Kids on Bluegrass" video and were part of the band
"Juvenescence" that performed on the IBMA's Fanfest stage.
- 2005-6, appeared
on the National Wild Turkey Federation's Award ceremony, opening for Alison
Krauss & Union Station and Diamond Rio.
- Perform regularly
with the "Bluegrass Parlor Band with Cory and Jarrod Walker" in
- 2007, Cory performed
and recorded with Sierra Hull and Highway 111, playing banjo.
LARRY WALLACE BAND
- From Starkville,
- Wallace plays
banjo, a former member of Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys (10 years).
- 2002, played
the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
- 2003, performed
at an event featuring Vice President Dick Cheney.
- 2004, performed
with Tom Ewing on RFD-TV.
CHARLIE WALLER (See THE
Washington, D.C. Lives in Richmond, Virginia.
- Son of
Charlie Waller (Country Gentlemen). When Randy was four years old, his father
made a promise to give him his famed guitar, a promise which was kept on ChristmasDay,
joined his dad in the Country Gentlemen and has continued leading the band
after Charlie’s death in 2004.
released first solo project.
(MARTY WARBURTON BAND)
- From Las Vegas,
- Plays banjo
and guitar. Was a member of Dry & Dusty (with Butch Baldassari) and Sagegrass.
- Former president
of the Southern Nevada Bluegrass Music Society; also hosted a radio program
on KNPR, Las Vegas.
- 1996, the Marty
Warburton band won the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown (Louisville,
- 1997, recorded
first album for Pinecastle Records.
Fountain City, Indiana.
playing banjo at age 11.
joined first band at age 12, an Ohio group called Simple Tymes.
age 13, joined Gerald Evans and Paradise.
recorded first album of banjo instrumentals. Also performed on the Grand Ole
played dates in a band called "Higher Crossing" with Dennis Crouch,
Ray Craft, Randy Kohrs and Aubrey Haynie.
- 1005, worked
with Don Rigsby and Midnight Call.
- 2007, joined
Audie Blaylock and Redline.
- From Red Lion,
- 1967-1969, played
banjo with Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys. Also played on Jimmy's 1978
album "Greatest Bluegrass Hits."
- 1969, had his
own regional band and filled in with Bob Paisley, Seldom Scene, Hot Mudd Family,
Bill Harrell, Jim and Jesse, others.
- 1974, opened
"Warner String Works" repairing and building string instruments;
played banjo with the Carroll County Ramblers.
- 1980, played
mandolin with Tom Adams and the Double Eagle Band. A year later, played banjo
while Tom played guitar.
- 1985-1989, returned
to play with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys.
- 2003, after
a 4-year hiatus, returned to play with Audie Blaylock and Redline, also briefly
with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
- 2009, joined
Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa
- 2009, released
solo project "Goin' to the Dance."
THE WARRIOR RIVER BOYS
band formed in 1960, but broke up a few years later. Reorganized in 1980.
of the band: David Davis (mandolin.)
fiddler Charlie Cline—formerly with The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, Bill
Monroe, and The Stanley Brothers (1986-1991).
WASHBURN (See UNCLE EARL)
Clay City, Kentucky.
playing bluegrass when he was four years old. He says that he never knew there
was any other kind of music until he was 10.
formed a band called Southern Blend.
a music store in Clay City.
in as guitar player in Alison Krauss' band for a short time.
- 1996, released
first CD "Songs from the Old Country Church."
joined J.D. Crowe and the New South, singing lead.
- 2008, released
solo project "From the Heart and Soul."
- 2012, formed
a new band called American Drive with Dwight McCall and other former members
of The New South (after J.D. Crowe retired).
WATKINS (ALLEN WATKINS BAND)
formed the Homemade String Band at age 16. Won the North Alabama Banjo Championship.
joined the Front Porch String Band and performed on their landmark debut album
- Has also
worked with the Lonesome River Band, Mark Johnson and Clawgrass, Valerie Smith
and Liberty Pike.
formed his own “Allen Watkins Band” with his wife Anne. Has also
performed with his wife in a group called “The Other Guise.”
WATSON AND HARDY
- A duo
featuring Dawn Watson (mandolin) and Dave Hardy (guitar). They are married.
are former members of Country Gazette and taught at South Plains College.
is also an actor; was in a made-for-TV movie starring William Shatner.
live show is called “Party of Two.”
has several mandolin instructional videos to her credit. She conducts mandolin
workshops and performs with a classical group called the New Mandolin Quartet.
Deep Gap, North Carolina.
- One of
America's best known folk singers and flat-pick guitarists.
name: Arthel Lane Watson.
“discovered” by folklorist Ralph Rinzler.
- Was born
with a defect in the main vessels that carry blood to the eyes, causing him
to permanently lose his vision as a small child.
Doc is blind, he was able to perform tasks that seem almost impossible without
vision. For example, he completely wired his house for electricity. All of
the wiring was passed by the county building inspector and the feat was written
up in an electrical journal.
played with a North Carolina group called “Jack Williams and the Country
first bluegrass recording: a 1965 album of instrumentals with Lester Flatt
and Earl Scruggs.
- For more
than 25 years, Doc traveled and performed with his son Merle. Merle was killed
in a tractor accident on the Watson farm in 1985.
Merle’s death, guitarist Jack Lawrence served as Doc’s right-hand
man on stage and on the road.
performed at the first bluegrass festival (Carlton Haney’s Fincastle,
1997, received the National Medal of Arts from President and Mrs. Clinton
at the White House.
was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
- Has recorded
more than 50 albums and has won six Grammies. In 2004, he was awarded the
Lifetime Achievement Award.
recorded and performed with Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs as “The Three
- 2012, died after
a long illness.
- 2012, was posthumously
awarded the IBMA Award for Guitar Player of the Year.
- A founding
member of the Red Clay Ramblers.
joined Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group, playing bass.
performs with a group called Pinky LaCrosse and Duke Wyoming, and with a bluegrass
band called the Green Level Entertainers.
- From Canada.
- A guitarist,
singer and songwriter. Performs with a group called the Breakmen.
- 2010, released
solo project "Northern Track."
the New York/New England area.
- An eclectic
group featuring Matt Glaser, Andy Statman, Tony Trischka, John McGann and
- A “genre-bending
group” combining elements of jazz, bluegrass, folk, Klezmer, Celtic
and chamber music.
released first album with guests Rhonda Vincent, Ralph Stanley, Tim O’Brien,
Laurie Lewis, others.
in 1986 by Ron Block (banjo), Eric Uglum (guitar/mandolin) and Mike Bub (bass).
Later joined by Butch Baldassari (mandolin) and Chris Jones (guitar).
to Nashville in 1989, but disbanded shortly thereafter.
are they now? Ron Block is with Alison Krauss, Mike Bub is with Del McCoury,
Butch Baldassari is with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, Chris Jones performs
with The Night Drivers. Eric Uglum is with Lost Highway.
Block, Bub, Baldassari and Jones reunited for several performances.
player who has worked with The Lonesome River Band (replaced Dan Tyminski
the first time he left LRB) and J. D. Crowe and the New South.
released first solo project.
joined a group called New Reflections, then returned to J.D. Crowe’s
New South for a short time, then formed Wildfire with New South bandmates
Phil Leadbetter, Robert Hale and Barry Crabtree.
- 2003, performed
on Dolly Parton's "Halos and Horns" project.
- 2007, joined
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, playing guitar (replaced Josh Williams).
- 2008, joined
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, playing guitar.
- 2009, formed
The Darrell Webb Band.
- 2010, released
- From Langley,
Kentucky (Floyd County).
- Sings lead and
tenor vocals, plays guitar and clawhammer banjo.
- Began performing
in high school with The Pine Top Ramblers. Other bands: South Creek, Onlyne,
Clyde Bowling and the Southern Bluegrass Boys.
- 2005, formed
his own band and released "Now That You Are Gone" CD.
- 2007, released
"Eastern Kentucky" CD.
BIG AL WEEKLEY
Ravenswood, West Virginia. Currently lives in Nebraska.
driving trucks and playing guitar when he was 14.
- Has a
syndicated radio program called “Big Al’s Bluegrass Show.”
His first radio job was in 1987 at Ohio University. Currently works at KRVN
in Lexington, Nebraska.
produced album of bluegrass truck driving songs with many notable musicians
including Dave Dudley (“Six Days on the Road”) and Leroy Van Dyke
ERIC WEISSBERG (and STEVE MANDEL)
- The duo
who recorded the instrumental “Dueling Banjos” for the hit movie
played banjo; Mandel played guitar.Weissberg studied string bass at the famous
Julliard School of Music. Worked as a studio musician and performed with The
Tarriers and the Greenbriar Boys. Has also performed on double bass with the
New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
recorded a classic banjo album in the 1960's called “New Dimensions
in Banjo and Bluegrass” which popularized “melodic” style
(a.k.a. Keith-style or chromatic-style) banjo-picking.
was a member of a New York City bluegrass group called the Garrett Mountain
Boys—a group which also included David Grisman.
Banjos” was not composed by them. Originally the song was called “Feuding
Banjos” and was written by Arthur Smith and Don Reno. It was later re-named
and recorded by The Dillards as “Duelin' Banjos.”
formed new band with Jim Rooney and Bill Keith called The New Velvet Band.
1998, has been touring as a member of Art Garfunkel’s band, playing
- From Nashville,
- Plays bass and
has released several solo projects but is probably best known as a writer
of songs and liner notes for CD's by other top bluegrass artists.
- Has played bass
with Union Springs, The Wildwood Valley Boys, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard
Time, The Lonesome Heirs (with Andy Falco, Jeremy Garrett and Ned Luberecki)
and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.
- 2000, won the
IBMA Award for Print Media Personality of the Year.
- Produces "Hand
Picked by Del McCoury" for the Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Network Bluegrass
- 2008, released
"If This Road Could Talk" CD featuring many guest artists performing
his original songs.
WELCH (AND DAVID RAWLINGS)
New York City; grew up in West Los Angeles; moved to Nashville in 1992.
- Her parents
were writers for the Carol Burnett TV series.
attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.
in Boston, met her current singing and writing partner, David Rawlings.
- Her songs
have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Tim and
Mollie O’Brien, Valerie Smith.
- Her debut
album “Revival” was produced by T-Bone Burnett.
she acted and performed in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou,”
starring George Clooney.
her duet with Alison Krauss “I’ll Fly Away” (from the O’
Brother soundtrack) won the IBMA award for Gospel Recorded Performance of
Clayton, North Carolina
- A family
band. Debi (mom) plays guitar. Three daughters: Sara (banjo), Jade (mandolin)
and Eden (fiddle).
performed two songs for the movie/sound track for “Bell Witch: The Movie.”
- From Hamilton,
Ohio (near Cincinnati)
- Plays mandolin
- 1990's, had
a band called Next in Line.
- Performs at
a restaurant called The Comet (with the Comet Bluegrass All Stars) in Northside
- Her day job:
She's an accountant.
- 2009, released
a solo album "Drifting and Dreaming" produced by Dwight McCall with
guests Ron Stewart, Alan Bibey, Tim Stafford, Randy Kohrs, Ricky Wasson &
WERNICK (See also HOT RIZE)
New York City. Lives in Niwot, Colorado.
as “Dr. Banjo” because of a best-selling banjo instruction book
he authored (over 200,000 copies sold).
- Has an
earned doctorate from Columbia University in sociology.
at Columbia University, organized his first bluegrass band called the Orange
moved west and joined High Country, a San Francisco-based bluegrass band.
Also worked briefly with Vern Williams and Ray Park.
returned to Ithica, New York to complete his Ph.D. work and teach at Cornell
University. Also performed with Country Cooking (with Tony Trischka).
moved to Colorado (where he met his wife Joan). There he met up with Charles
Sawtelle and they formed a band called the Drifting Ramblers, or the Rambling
Drifters (they couldn't make up their mind.) In 1978.
- 1978, formed
Hot Rize, a very popular band which won the very first IBMA award for Entertainer
of the Year in 1990. The group broke up the same year.
“Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers” (a country-western band that
was actually Hot Rize in disguise), Peter played the steel guitar as “Waldo
became the IBMA’s first president (stepped down in 2001 due to new term
“banjo camps” for musicians who want to improve their technique
on the banjo.
- Was a
passenger on United Airlines Flight 232—a DC-10 that crashed in Sioux
City, Iowa in 1988. While his banjo was destroyed, he and his family survived
the fiery crash and he was back performing with Hot Rize (with a new banjo)
two days later.
- An outspoken
advocate of atheism, he serves as president of the “Family of Humanists.”
formed The Live Five—doing what Pete calls “Virtual Bluegrass.”
a song from his album “Dr. Banjo Steps Out” titled “Big
Rock in the Road” was played on the planet of Mars to “wake up”
NASA’s landing craft Spirit Rover on February 27, making this the first
bluegrass tune to be heard on another planet.
- 2004, hosted
a show on XM Satellite Radio.
- 2005, performed
with Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin and other banjo players on the David Letterman
- 2006, formed
a group called Flexigrass, a fusion of jazz and bluegrass.
- 2009, began
performing with a Colorado-based band called Long Road Home.
- 2010, received
a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA.
WHEEL HOSS (See KANE’S
- From Weber City,
- Band members:
Kevin Wheeler (bass), Tiffany Wheeler (lead vocals), Mark Jackson (mandolin),
Justin Salyer (guitar), Steven Mounts (banjo).
- 2009, released
WHITES (BUCK WHITE AND THE DOWN HOME FOLKS)
Wichita Falls, Texas. Moved to Nashville in 1971.
began performing in Fort Smith, Arkansas as a family band as “Buck White
and the Down Homers” (later changed to “Buck White and the Down
Home Folks.”) Included Buck and Pat White and their young daughters
Cheryl and Sharon.
- Big break:
1979, opened for Emmylou Harris on her “Blue Kentucky Girl” album
tour. Led to a recording contract with Capitol Records.
changed their name to “The Whites.”
Sharon White married Ricky Skaggs.
joined the Grand Ole Opry.
signed with Ricky Skaggs’ Ceili Records label.
appeared in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou” starring George
- 2008, were inducted
into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.
CLARENCE WHITE (See THE
Syracuse, NY; grew up in Northern Indiana.
- A member
of Vince Gill’s band since 1992.
band: worked with David and Melody Johnson; won the KFC band contest in 1981.
member of Alison Krauss and Union Station and Weary Hearts. Also worked with
performed with Tim O’Brien, Charlie Cushman, Mark Schatz and Jerry Douglas
in a Nashville group called The Flattheads.
worked with the Dan Tyminski Band.
recorded with the Chieftains.
ROLAND WHITE (See THE
KENTUCKY COLONELS; THE NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND)
Maine. Grew up in California. Lives in Nashville.
band: The Country Boys with his brothers Clarence and Eric (began in Maine,
continued in California.)
formed the Kentucky Colonels with brothers Clarence and Eric, and Billy Ray
joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, playing guitar.
joined Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.
re-joined brothers Eric and Clarence to form the New Kentucky Colonels (with
Herb Pederson and Alan Munde.)
joined the Country Gazette.
joined the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
left the Nashville Bluegrass Band to perform on with his wife Diane Bouska
as “The Roland White Band.”
TIM WHITE (See also THE VW
Blountville, Tennessee. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia.
- A graphic
artist by trade. Among his accomplishments: the painting of a huge mural in
Bristol, Tennessee designating Bristol as “The Birthplace of Country
Music. He also designed and painted a new logo for the side of Ralph Stanley’s
- Has led several
regional bands including
Troublesome Hollow and The Beagles.
with the VW Boys, a group that combines bluegrass with comedy and magic.
- 2006, executive
coordinator and host of "Song of the Mountains," a syndicated weekly
music TV show which airs on many PBS stations.
- He is host of
a 2 hour syndicated bluegrass and old-time country radio show which airs on
several stations from Georgia to North Dakota.
- Serves as president
of the ACMA (Appalachian Cultural Music Association) dedicated to the preservation
of the music and culture of the Appalachian region.
- Helped establish
the Mountain Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia and hosts a local two hour
live program from there called "The Pickin Porch".
White House, Tennessee.
- A “special
event” band formed in 2002 featuring members of other groups: David
Parmley (Continental Divide), Larry Stephenson, Missy Raines, Charlie Cushman
(Mike Snider Band) and Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band). All of them live in
White House, Tennessee (near Nashville.).
WHITE LIGHTNING STRIKE
in 2004 by Tony King, former guitarist and lead singer with J.D. Crowe’s
New South. Has had a successful country music career, working with such artists
as Ricky Van Shelton and Brooks and Dunn.
band members: Elmer Burchett (banjo), Shayne Bartley (mandolin), Jason Hale
(bass), Matt Arnold (fiddle).
(See also BRAD DAVIS)
appeared with Bill Monroe on the Grand Ole Opry.
- Led by
Brad Davis, who played lead guitar with Marty Stuart from 1990-1999.
- Had a
monthly radio show on WSM called “White Water Wednesday.”
Sandy Hook, Kentucky.
at age 15, began his professional musical career when he and his friend Ricky
Skaggs worked with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. That same year,
Keith and Ricky recorded a duet album.
worked with Jimmy Gaudreau in a short-lived band called “The Country
returned to Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys as lead singer and guitarist.
worked with J.D. Crowe and the New South.
on solo career in 1985; hit the charts with his RCA single, “Miami,
My Amy” in 1986.
idol: George Jones.
on May 9, 1989 in Nashville of alcohol poisoning. He was 35 years old.
THE WHITSTEIN BROTHERS
- A due
featuring Bob (guitar) and Charles (mandolin).
duets in the style of the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, and the Blue
worked with Faron Young and Porter Wagoner.
absent from the music scene until the mid-1980's, when they began performing
and recording again.
“the second-coming of the Louvin Brothers” by Charlie Louvin.
three albums before breaking up in 1991. Reunited briefly in 1993.
performs occasionally with Charlie Louvin, recreating the Louvin Brothers
- Bob Whitstein
died in 2001.
Charles joined Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.
MARSHALL WILBORN (See also THE
LYNN MORRIS BAND)
from Austin, Texas.
bass with the Lynn Morris band.
joined Whetstone Run. It was then that he met Lynn Morris; they eventually
married and formed a partnership.
- Has also
worked with Jimmy Martin and the Johnson Mountain Boys.
with his wife formed the Lynn Morris band.
voted Bass Player of the Year by Bluegrass Now’s Fan’s Choice
released an album of bass instrumentals accompanied by banjo.
- 2006, formed
new band with Dudley Connell, Tom Adams, David McLaughlin and Sally Love called
- 2007, joined
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
- 2009, 2010,
2011, won the IBMA award for Bass Player of the Year.
- 2011, left Michael
Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
WILD AND BLUE
White House, Tennessee.
a “sisters duet”–Jan Harvey and Jill Snyder, who are actual
Harvey (mandolin) formerly worked with Red Allen, The Reasonable Band (from
Colorado) and Larry Sparks. In 1980, he won the National Mandolin Championship
in Winfield, Kansas.
group disbanded. Jill Snyder is working full-time in the IBMA office. David
Harvey joined Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time.
WILD BLUE YONDER
known for a novelty song called “The Possum Crawls Tonight” (to
the tune of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”).
mostly at local events around east Tennesseee (Dollywood, UT football games,
- From Kansas
- An alt-country
band featuring Ike Shelton (guitar), Phil Wade (mandolin/dobro/banjo), Betse
Ellis (fiddle), and Nate Gawron (bass).
- Formed in 1996.
- 2002, backed
Iris DeMent on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion."
- 2006, performed
at the Spiegeltent at Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they were honored with
the Herald Angel Award.
- 2011, released
self titled CD "The Wilders" (their 10th) on Free Dirt Records.
in 2000 by members of J.D. Crowe’s band The New South who worked both
bands until 2001, when they left Crowe’s band for good.
members: Phil Leadbetter, Robert Hale, Darrell Webb, Barry Crabtree and Curt
recorded numerous soundtracks for the Home and Gardens television network.
frequently at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge. Hale and Webb also worked
with Dolly Parton on her “Halos and Horns” project.
- 2006, Leadbetter
resigned to join The Whites.
- 2010, released
"Crash Course in the Blues" CD with new lineup: Robert Hale (guitar),
Steve Thomas (fiddle, mandolin), Johnny Lewis (banjo), Matt Despain (Dobro™),
Curt Chapman (bass).
THE WILDWOOD GIRLS
Speedwell, Tennessee. Originally from Chicago.
- An all-female
band. Formed in 1977.
“Bill Monroe-based, aggressive bluegrass, with women's voices.”
comes from the Carter Family song “Wildwood Flower.” Original
band wore blue and white checked blouses like the original Carter Sisters.
- Led by
Kim Clawson (banjo), the only original member.
made four overseas tours for the U.S. Department of Defense.
- Are regular
performers at Dolly Parton's “Dollywood” theme park.
WILDWOOD VALLEY BOYS
formed in 1992, then re-formed in 1997.
- A band
“born from the Boys from Indiana.” Includes three sons of that
legendary group: Tony Holt (son of Aubrey), Jeff Holt (son of Jerry) and Harlan
Gabbard (son of Harley).
members of the group formerly played with the Traditional Grass (Gerald Evans,
Jr. and Glen Inman.)
released first album.
- 2011, released
"Lost Highways and Treasured Memories" as Tony Holt and the Wildwood
in 2002 by banjo player Blake Williams and mandolin player Bobby Clark. Also
in the group: Wayne Southards (guitar) and Kimberly Williams (bass).
and Clark previously worked together as members of the Mike Snider band. Southards
is a former member of the Tennessee Gentlemen. Southards is from Salem, Missouri
(also hometown of the Dillards).
name: New Ground. Changed after first album was released because the name
was already in use by a gospel group.
2004, were nominated for IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year award.
- 2009, Bobby
Clark left the band and the group was re-named The
BLAKE WILLIAMS (See also WILLIAMS
& CLARK EXPEDITION)
Sparta, Tennessee (also the birthplace of Lester Flatt). Lives in Nashville.
played banjo for Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys.
worked with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.
played bass with Mike Snider’s band.
formed a band with mandolinist Bobby Clark called the Williams & Clark
“The Sparta Flash.”
a group in 1989 as “Clearwater.” Changed name to “Jeannette
Williams and Clearwater” in 1996.
- For most
of her career, she has performed with her husband Johnny, an accomplished
guitarist and songwriter. In 2007, he joined the "Big Country Bluegrass"
Jeannette was awarded “Female Vocalist of the Year” from the Virginia
Folk Music Association.
won third place at SPBGMA band contest in Nashville.
Jeannette was signed by Doobie Shea Records, and went to work for the label
in radio promotions. Since the label folded, she has done promotion for other
recorded first solo album.
formed The Jeannette Williams Band
- 2006, Johnny
Williams joined the band Big Country Bluegrass.
- 2007, won the
Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (first place) at Merlefest, for her song
"Enough of You.
- 2011, formed
"Freeman and Williams" with Scott Freeman (mandolin) and husband
WILLIAMS (See JEANNETTE WILLIAMS)
(THE JOSH WILLIAMS BAND)
- Was one
of bluegrass music’s child prodigies. Gained national recognition when
he appeared on the 1993 IBMA Awards show in the “Bluegrass Youth All-Stars”
band with Chris Thile, Cody Kilby and Michael Cleveland.
all the bluegrass instruments, but began as a banjo player at age 8. Alison
Brown gave him lessons.
formed his first band (at age 10).
recorded first album.
performed with The Young Acoustic All-Stars.
formed his own band, High Gear.
played with a group called Hyperdrive (with Jonathan Jones, Chris and Scott
played mandolin and fiddle with The Special Consensus.
played guitar with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
- 2008, formed
The Josh Williams Band. Also worked dates with Alecia Nugent, the Larry Stephenson
Band and the Tony Rice Unit (playing mandolin). He also plays fill-in dates
with the Mashville Brigade (Tuesday nights at the Station Inn).
- 2008, 2009,
2010, won the IBMA award for Guitar Player of the Year.
- 2010, won the
IBMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year (The Josh Williams Band).
- 2012, re-joined
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
WILLIAMS (and THE VICTORY TRIO)
Wythe County, Virginia. Lives in Morristown, Tennessee.
name: Paul Humphrey.
joined the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers as a teenager. When he and his brother Jimmy
auditioned for that job, they called themselves “The Williams Brothers.”
He has been known as Paul Willians ever since.
after a stint in the Air Force, joined Jimmy Martin to form The Sunny Mountain
Boys. He is best known for his work with this group, including many songs
which he wrote for Martin. (Jimmy Martin is also his brother-in-law).
left Martin’s band to work for the U.S. Postal Service. Continued to
write gospel songs and lead the choir at his church in Morristown, Tennessee.
formed “The Victory Trio,” a gospel group.
retired from the Postal Service to perform full-time.
nominated for a Grammy for "Old Ways & Old Paths" (Best Bluegrass
recorded a gospel album with Cliff Waldron.
- 2004, was featured
on the Grammy nominated album "A Tribute to Jimmy Martin: The King of
- 2007, won SPBGMA
Award for "Bluegrass Gospel Traditional Group of the Year"
AND LINDA WILLIAMS (and THEIR FINE GROUP)
Millbrook, Virginia (Shenandoah Valley).
national recognition while performing as regulars on Garrison Keillor's “A
Prairie Home Companion” on public radio.
- They also
tour as members of Keillor’s “Hopeful Gospel Quartet.”
began touring with Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Robin became a “Justice of the Peace” for one day and performed
Mary Chapin Carpenter’s wedding.
Fine Group” includes Jim Watson on bass, Jimmy Gaudreau on mandolin
(replacing Kevin Maul on dobro in 2000).
- 2006, appeared
in the movie "A Prairie Home Companion."
Danville, NH, lives in Glastonbury, CT
known as a top Dobro™
(resophonic guitar) player, but he also sings lead and harmony vocals.
has recorded several solo projects.
Don Stover & The White Oak Mountain Boys
- 1977 The
Lilly Brothers Band (Everett, Alan & Tennis Lilly)
The Berkshire Mountain Boys
White Mountain Bluegrass
- 1997 Blue
Diamond Bluegrass (Stan Tyminski, Dan's older brother)
The New England Bluegrass Band
- 2005 joined
Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters
VERN WILLIAMS (THE VERN WILLIAMS BAND; See also VERN
from Newton County, Arkansas; moved to California in the 1950's.
playing bluegrass in northern California with fiddler/guitarist Ray Park.
“Vern and Ray” became one of California's most popular bluegrass
acts. Broke up in 1974.
formed “The Vern Williams Band” with his son Delbert. Recorded
one album for Rounder and backed Rose Maddox on two others.
- Retired from
performing in the late 1990's due to failing health. Died June 2006.
DEBBIE WILLIAMSON (See KEVIN WILLIAMSON)
KEVIN WILLIAMSON (and SHADOW RIDGE)
Kenova, West Virginia. Lives in Nashville.
with Dave Evans, Redwing, Glen Duncan and Phoenix, other bands before striking
out on his own in 1992.
- A second-generation
bluegrass performer, the son ot Jerry Williamson (who fronted “The Outdoor
Plumbing Company” and “Redwing.”)
guitar and sings primarily self-penned original songs with Shadow Ridge.
to Debbie, who sings both lead and harmony vocals in the band. She has also
released a solo album.
AND GARY WILLIAMSON (THE WILLIAMSON BROTHERS)
Siler City, North Carolina.
is a well-known mandolin virtuoso, with several solo projects to his credit.
grandfather was in Company B, 52nd Regiment of the North Carolina Troops who
marched with General Lee up Seminary Ridge, July 3, 1863 in the Battle of
Gettysburg. He survived.
band: The Bluegrass Gentlemen (1970) which made the cover of Bluegrass Unlimited
earned his Ph.D in educational research from Stanford University. He works
full-time for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Gary was a member of the Bluegrass Alliance and also worked with Richard Greene.
owns a musical instrument company called Mandolin Central.
Tony performed with a one-man show called “The Sound of the American
Mandolin.” He has a degree in music from the University of North Carolina.
the brothers formed a duo.
formerly played with ASH&W (He was the “W”).
- 2013, released
BEN WINSHIP (See also LOOSE
- A former
member of the Wyoming-based group, Loose Ties.
released a solo album and joined the Judith Edelman Band.
performs with a local rhythm and blues band.
joined Kane’s River.
Lake City, Florida.
name: Robert Russell Dees. He was adopted by his father's sister, whose husband's
name was Wise.
“The Dean of Bluegrass Fiddlers”; also “The Original Bluegrass
of the “Orange Blossom Special.” At age 18, Wise moved to Jacksonville,
Florida where he drove a taxicab by day and played fiddle in bars by night.
It was there that he met fiddler Ervin Rouse in 1939 and together they composed
“The Orange Blossom Special” in about 45 minutes. When Rouse suggested
that they go get it copyrighted, Wise said, “Ervin, I haven't got time
to fool with a fiddle tune. If you can do anything with it, buddy, it's yours.”
joined Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, replacing Howdy Forrester. Was
a member of Monroe’s “original bluegrass band” of 1945-1948
(Monroe, Flatt, Scruggs, Watts and Wise).
left Monroe to work with the York Brothers in Detroit, and later, Lester Flatt
and Earl Scruggs (1951).
- Has also
worked with Jimmy Martin, Sam and Kirk McGee, Uncle Dave Macon, Hylo Brown,
Mac Wiseman, Hank Snow and Merle Haggard.
named “Old Time Fiddler of the Year” at the SPBGMA awards.
January 6, 1996.
was inducted in the IBMA’s Hall of Honor.
Crimora, Virginia. Lives on Percy Priest Lake, near Nashville.
- Was born
in 1925, the same year the Grand Ole Opry started.
began his career as a DJ in in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
worked with Molly O'Day.
was an original member of Flatt and Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys.
worked with Bill Monroe.
- Came to be known
as "The Voice with a Heart."
with his band “The Country Boys” recorded several hits for Dot
Records including “Jimmy Brown the Newsboy,” “Love Letters
in the Sand,” “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”
worked as an A & R man (Artists and Repertoire) for Dot Records and ran
the company's country-music department. While at Dot, he was instrumental
in the success of Pat Boone's career. It was Mac who suggested that Pat record
the song “Love Letters in the Sand” which became a smash hit for
the young singer.
was one of the founders of the Country Music Association (CMA) and its first
performed at the first bluegrass festival in Fincastle, Virginia.
managed WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia.
had a hit record with “Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride”
elected president of R.O.P.E. (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) in Nashville.
One of the goals of the organization is to build a retirement home for country
worked at the revived Old Dominion Barn Dance, Richmond, Virginia.
worked at the Willie Nelson Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
was inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
recorded with “The Groove Grass Boyz.”
recorded a duet with his old friend Johnny Cash: “When It’s Reveille
Time in Heaven.”
- 2008, received
the National Heritage Award, America’s highest honor in the folk and
Granada Hills, California.
by Dennis (guitar/mandolin) and Gabe (fiddle) Witcher, who are father and
son, not brothers. They began performing together in 1985, when Gabe was only
six years old. Michael Witcher (the younger brother) joined later, playing
is an aerospace engineer.
also is the fiddle player with The Laurel Canyon Ramblers and (2002) the Jerry
Douglas Band. In 2001, he played bass with the rock band Eve 6. He is also
a busy session musician and actor in Hollywood.
THE WOOD BROTHERS
Nashville; originally from Rittman, Ohio.
in 1974 by Ricky and Mike Wood.
Mike was killed in a hunting accident, but Ricky has kept the name “The
Wood Brothers” alive with his own band.
began playing regularly at Sea World (Ohio) and then Sea World (Florida).
- Were members
of the Wheeling (West Virginia) Jamboree.
began working at Opryland, USA in Nashville. Appeared on the General Jackson
Showboat and were the “check in-check out” band in the lobby of
the Opryland Hotel.
album “Hooked on Bluegrass” was nominated for a Grammy Award.
became regular performers at the MGM Grand Adventure Theme Park in Las Vegas.
- A highly
regarded Dobro™ player, who worked with Wilma Lee Cooper's Clinch Mountain
Clan, Country Gazette, the Sidemen, others.
joined the Osborne Brothers' band.
in 2001 of cancer.
NORMAN WRIGHT AND KEVIN CHURCH
(See also THE TRAVELERS)
both left The Country Gentlemen to form their own band.
has also worked with The Bluegrass Cardinals and Bill Harrell and the Virginians.
plays banjo, and is the son of banjo player, Porter Church, who once was a
member of Bill Monroe's band, The Blue Grass Boys.
changed name of their band to The Travelers. Disbanded after a few years together.
- 2008, Church
became of member of the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band.
- 2010, Wright
was a member of Darren Beachley and the Legends of the Potomac.
- 2011, Wright
and Church re-formed The Travelers.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
was lead singer for Milwaukee band Grass, Food and Lodging.
joined Tony Trischka and Skyline.
formed Acoustic Outlet with Mike Mumford, Chris Stifel, Akira Otsuka and Fred
formed the Dede Wyland Band.
- Is a professional
vocal coach and widely known as a "singer's singer."
- 2009, released
"Keep the Light On" with band Mike Mumford (banjo), Ronnie and Rickie
Simpkins (bass and mandolin/fiddle), Wyatt Rice (guitar).
- From Dryden,
Ontario, Canada; Lives in Nashville.
- As a teenager,
played guitar with a family band called the Muddy River Boys.
- A graduate of
East Tennessee State University's bluegrass music program.
- 2005, played
banjo with the Mark Newton Band.
- 2005-6, played
guitar with the Boohers.
- 2006-8, played
banjo and guitar with Alecia Nugent..
- 2008, joined
the Isaacs, playing banjo and guitar.
- 2010, released
solo project "Every Time I Walk this Road."