Bluegrass Bluesman: A Memoir

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University of Illinois Press, Sep 1, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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A pivotal member of the hugely successful bluegrass band Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, Dobro pioneer Josh Graves (1927-2006) was a living link between bluegrass music and the blues. In Bluegrass Bluesman, this influential performer shares the story of his lifelong career in music.   In lively anecdotes, Graves describes his upbringing in East Tennessee and the climate in which bluegrass music emerged during the 1940s. Deeply influenced by the blues, he adapted Earl Scruggs's revolutionary banjo style to the Dobro resonator slide guitar and gave the Foggy Mountain Boys their distinctive sound. Graves' accounts of daily life on the road through the 1950s and 1960s reveal the band's dedication to musical excellence, Scruggs' leadership, and an often grueling life on the road. He also comments on his later career when he played in Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass and the Earl Scruggs Revue and collaborated with the likes of Boz Scaggs, Charlie McCoy, Kenny Baker, Eddie Adcock, Jesse McReynolds, Marty Stuart, Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, and his three musical sons. A colorful storyteller, Graves brings to life the world of an American troubadour and the mountain culture that he never left behind.   Born in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, Josh Graves (1927-2006) is universally acknowledged as the father of the bluegrass Dobro. In 1997 he was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.
 

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Contents

1 19271942 A Tennessee Childhood
1
2 19421955 A Musical Apprenticeship
12
3 19551969 Part 1 Foggy Mountain Boy
22
4 19551969 Part 2 Life on the Road and the Breakup
34
Illustrations follow p 44
44
5 19691994 King of the Dobro
45
6 A Man of Many Talents
58
7 Reflections on Bluegass Old and New
69
8 A Family Musical Legacy
79
9 Testimony from Josh Gravess Contemporaries and Those He Influenced
89
JoshJulie and Cliff with the Seahorse Inlay the Two Main Instruments Played by
113
Joshs Repertoire Tunes and Songs He Featured While a Member of the Foggy Mountain Boys
115
Notes
117
Index
127
back cover
145
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About the author (2012)

  Fred Bartenstein has performed many roles in bluegrass music, including magazine editor, broadcaster, musician, festival MC, talent director, scholar and consultant. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

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