"Smilin' Jim Eanes" (His given name is Homer—but chose his
stage name, "Smilin' Jim" in 1939.)
- A pioneer
of bluegrass music. Began his career in 1948 with Flatt & Scruggs, then
Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
career: 1949, had hit record "Baby Blue Eyes" (Capitol Records);
Early fifties, recorded "Missing in Action" (Blue Ridge Records)
which reportedly sold more than 400,000 copies; 1952, had hits "I Cried
Again" and "Just Suppose" (Decca).
leader/lead singer for The Shenandoah Valley Boys (which included banjo whiz
60's, recorded several albums backed by The Country Gentlemen.
credits: "Baby Blue Eyes", "Next Sunday Darling is My Birthday,"
and "I Wouldn't Change You If I Could." His songs have been recorded
by Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Reno and Smiley, George Jones and Ricky
- Was a
disc-jockey on several country radio stations.
inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.
in the San Francisco area (although band members are from Virginia, Florida
and New York City.)
in 2000 by banjo player Robert Earl Davis (from Richmond, Virgina).
members: John McKelvy (guitar), Larry Hughes (mandolin) and Josh Sidman (bass).
are a full-time touring band and have traveled extensively, including Europe
music has been called "Honky-Tonk Bluegrass," "Hillbilly Gothic"
released album titled "Whiskey, Women and Death."
- 2008, founding
member John McKelvy departed.
in Fort Monroe, Virginia; grew up in Texas.
moved to Nashville to write songs. Worked as a carpenter and played bass in
Guy Clark's band.
recorded for Epic Records, scored several hit records, including "Guitar
Town (1986)," and "Goodbye's All We Got Left" (1987). During
this time he was very influential as a country-rock artist.
went rock, recorded more albums which were generally ignored by country radio,
became something of a cult figure. Had several run-ins with the law, including
a drug charge.
recorded and toured with the Del McCoury Band.
COAST BLUEGRASS BAND (See NOTHIN' FANCY)
1974, broke up 1981.
brothers Art and Joe McDonough.
- The only
bluegrass band to get its start in a barbershop. "Jack's Barbershop"
in Norfolk, Virginia held jam sessions on Friday nights. A bar owner across
the street asked them to play (for free beer) and they came up with the name,
based on one of the songs they had learned, "East Virginia Blues."
re-united to record one album
- From Mount Airy,
- Includes three
brothers: James, Russell and Ed.
- One of the first
full-time bluegrass gospel groups. Started out as the "The Green Valley
Quartet" and later changed name to the Easter Brothers.
- Made first recordings
in 1961 for King Records. Carlton Haney arranged the session and the band
included Don Reno, Allan Mills and Mac Magaha.
- During the 1960's
they frequently appeared with Don Reno and Red Smiley.
- 1979, they became
a full-time touring group.
- 2007, James,
Russell and Ed still perform together, joined by two of their sons, Jared
and Russell, Jr.
AND SHERI EASTER
duo who began their career with The Lewis Family.
is Polly Lewis (Williamson)'s daughter and Jeff's father James Easter is a
member of the gospel group, The Easter Brothers.
- Met at
the Albert Brumley Gospel Sing in Springdale, Arkansas in 1984, and were married
a year later.
- A popular
southern gospel act. They appear frequently on Bill Gaither's TV specials
New York City. Has lived in Idaho, Jackson Hole, Nashville.
sang lead with a Crested Butte, Colorado band called Ryestraw.
formed her own band "The Judith Edelman Band" with Matt Flinner
(formerly of Sugarbeat) and Tony Furtado; 1997, added Ben Winship (formerly
with Loose Ties).
is her second career. Her first was international development. In 1990, she
was working in Africa when she decided to take guitar lessons and pursue a
career in music. She also has experience as a rape crisis counselor.
- Is also
a classically-trained pianist.
- Her father
won a Nobel Prize in 1972.
- 2009, released
new album "Clear Glass Jar."
(AND HARD ROCK MOUNTAIN)
- From Arcadia,
- Has won numerous
banjo championships, including Carlton Haney's Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival
(1973) and Union Grove Fiddler's Convention (1974).
- As a songwriter,
he co-wrote "Hard Rock Mountain Prison ('Til I Die)" with Larry
Cox and Terry Foust, a #1 song for Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out. His songs
have also been recorded by Darrell Webb, Monroeville, Nu-Blu, Grasstowne,
Special Consensus, Jeannette Williams and many other bluegrass artists.
- As a musician,
he has worked for many years as a sideman with artists like Randy Travis,
Tom T. Hall, Jeanie C. Riley, Ed Bruce, Lynn Anderson, Sammy Kershaw and others.
Also performed with Gloria Belle and the Trinity Mountain Boys (Alabama).
- 2012, Rural
Rhythm Records released "Portrait of a Bluegrass Songwriter" featuring
many of his songs recorded by other artists.
ELDRIDGE (See also THE GRASCALS)
Terre Haute, Indiana. Lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
guitarist and vocalist with The Osborne Brothers.
- Has also
worked with Mike Scott's All-American Band, Wilma Lee Cooper's Clinch Mountain
Clan, Lonzo and Oscar, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, the Sidemen.
playing bluegrass in high school. After graduation, worked with Lonzo and
Oscar. He was playing the Grand Ole Opry before he was old enough to vote.
joined Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time. Also performs with the Sidemen
and Drive Time.
was seriously injured in an automobile accident.
toured with Dolly Parton.
left Larry Cordle's band and formed The Grascals with Jimmy Mattingly, David
Talbot and Jamie Johnson.
ELKVILLE STRING BAND
- From Wilkesboro,
- Band members:
Drake Walsh (fiddle/mandolin/guitar), Herb Key (guitar), Jeff Michael (banjo/guitar/mandolin),
Bill Williams (bass)
- They play "genuine
American roots music."
- For several
years, they served as the house band for a Wilkesboro musical production called
"Tom Dooley: a Wilkes County Legend."
- Drake Walsh
is the son of RCA/Columbia recording artist Dock Walsh, founding member (with
Clarence Ashley) of the Carolina Tar Heels (1925).
- 2008, released
"Over the Mountain" CD with guest guitarist Wayne Henderson
North Carolina. Lives in Ohio.
playing banjo at age 14.
bands: The Virginia Mountaineers and the Shady Valley Boys.
played with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
leaving Monroe's band, he worked with Mac Wiseman, The Beaver Creek Boys (Bristol,
Tennessee) and The All American Boys (with Tom Ewing).
performed at the Olympics.
currently performs with his band Tony Ellis and the Musicians of Braeburn.
Tours internationally with the U.S. State Department.
- 2005, performed
with Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, and Peter Wernick on the Dave Letterman show
as "Men with Banjos Who Know How to Use Them."
- One of
the most influential five-string banjo players in bluegrass.
first pro job: "Uncle Bob and the Blue Ridge Partners."
an original member of The Country Gentlemen. Left after a few months and was
replaced by Eddie Adcock.
worked with the Stoneman Family, Red Allen, Jimmy Martin, and Cliff Waldron—in
he and Cliff Waldron recorded the first bluegrass version of the Mannfred
Mann song "Fox on the Run."
returned to The Country Gentlemen.
joined the Navy and played banjo with the U.S. Navy band Country Current (until
1992 when he retired.)
worked with Pete Goble on several projects. Their song "Tennessee 1949"
won the IBMA award that year for Song of the Year.
was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.
of Webco Records, which was acquired by Pinecastle Records in 1994.
recorded and performed with Mark Newton.
- 2007, came out
of retirement to record and perform his "Sweet Dixie" Band.
- 2011, released
solo project "Eclipse."
EMMITT (See also LEFTOVER SALMON)
mandolin. Influenced heavily by Sam Bush.
formed the Left Hand String Band.
formed Leftover Salmon.
released solo album with the John Cowan Band.
released second solo project featuring Cowan, Bush, and the Del McCoury Band.
ENRIGHT (See also THE NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND)
the San Francisco Bay area. Lives in Nashville.
formed a San Francisco group "Phantoms of theOpry."
Tasty Licks with Jack Tottle and Bela Fleck.
The Dreadful Snakes.
guitarist with the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
appeared in the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou" and sang on the
soundtrack album. He was one of the Soggy Bottom Boys.
Charlottesville, Virginia. Lives in El Cerrito, California.
- Has degrees
in anthropology and music from University of Virginia and a Ph.D in Ethno-musicology
from UC Berkeley.
played banjo with Cloud Valley (a Virginia band).
played banjo with the Dry Branch Fire Squad.
served as curator, International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro.
elected to the IBMA Board of Directors.
left the Dry Branch Fire Squad to perform solo and to work on his Ph.D.
began performing a one-man show called "The Banjo in America: A Musical
and Cultural History."
started his own record label (Native and Fine Records).
- In addition
to his solo performances, he is a member of two bands: The Bluegrass Intentions
and Due West.
- 2008, formed
a duo with fiddler Megan Lynch and recorded a CD with her titled "Let's
EVANS (and RIVER BEND)
Portsmouth, Ohio. Lives in Olive Hill, Kentucky.
- One of
the few banjo-picking lead singers in bluegrass music.
pro job: with Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys (in Yakima Washington).
joined Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers.
worked with Lillimae and the Dixie Gospelaires, Red Allen and the Kentuckians,
the Boys from Indiana.
formed his own group "River Bend."
his career suffered a setback when he was sentenced to serve ten years in
a federal penitentiary on a felonious assault charge. He served six years
and was released in 1995.
- While in prison,
he learned to play guitar.
began performing and recording again.
EVANS AND PARADISE (See also THE TRADITIONAL GRASS)
has played fiddle and mandolin with the Traditional Grass, Dave Evans and
Riverbend, and the Goins Brothers.
released first album with his band Paradise.
Columbus, Ohio. Lives in Gallatin, Tennessee.
- Was the
final lead singer and guitarist with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
Ohio State University; earned degrees in journalism and education.
member of Earl Taylor's Stoney Mountain Boys (Cincinnati).
became host of "Bluegrass Ramble" radio show in Columbus, Ohio (still
on the air as of 2002)
- Has recorded
three solo projects (1988, 1989, 1993).
and sang on three of Bill Monroe's albums, including "Southern Flavor,"
the first to win a bluegrass Grammy.
columnist for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine ("Thirty Years Ago This Month").
married Gwen McReynolds, daughter of Jesse McReynolds (Jim and Jesse).
after Bill Monroe's death, joined David Davis and the Warrior River Boys.
Also played bass for Jim and Jesse.
compiled and edited "The Bill Monroe Reader," published by the University
of Illinois Press.
formed a band called "Monroe's Boys."
EXPEDITION SHOW (See THE WILLIAMS AND CLARK