Saturday, January 22, 2011

One a day

From this point on I'm going to post either a story or a photo each day.

I got an email from Doug Benson recently and it only reminded me again of the wonderful friends I have all around the globe. I first met Doug at Berryville in about 1970 and we have been great friends ever since.

If you'd like some listening while you're reading this... Search: Bill Monroe and look for Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys 8-25-72 Philadelphia Folk Festival - Schwenksville, PA (wrong year, it was 71).
but this was the last show I played with Bill Monroe as a Blue Grass Boy. Photo courtesy Artie Rose's Bluegrass Photos!/photo.php?fbid=136414009733354&set=a.136411786400243.12090.100000942667331

We were pretty hot, having come off 7 days in Montreal at Man and His World doing 4 shows a day. Then a day or two off.... This was a differnet configuration of the Blue Grass Boys as Tex Logan and Byron Berline were not regular members...And this was Joe Stuarts first day back on the guitar.
On the 26th of June he left the bass to make room for me in the band and he played twin fiddles with Kenny Baker all summer until two nights before at Stoverstown Pa at a fair. Dan Jones left the next day and Joe did what all good Blue Grass Boys do and did what was needed. This was at the Phily Folk Festival.. Tex, Kenny and Byron(Who was playing with the Burrito Brothers that weekend) sat in with us, played 3 fiddles and I got a dose of Blue Grass guitar from Joe Stuart, this was a tremendous send off as it was my last day with the band August 1971. Also look at that "deer in the late night headlight look on my face" we all had to wear shoes that were not stage quality to the stage and put the stage shoes on, up on the steps....It had rained, rained and well say Grandpa Jones's It raining, raining, raining here this morning could have been written that morning....

Doug asked some questions...of which a portion of which I will post a portion here. At least this will get me started putting some of the things in my head on paper.

January 20, 2011

Howdy y'all,

A positive note to counteract the midwinter blahs........ Sixty years ago today (January 20, 1951), Bill Monroe cut his classic barnburner "RAW HIDE" in Nashville - - plus a couple other gems which I've been too lazy to look up. For some reason the Raw Hide session date has always stuck in my mind (probably because the "Bluegrass Instrumentals" Decca LP with Ralph Rinzler's liner notes, including discographical data, was out by the end of 1965 and I pointed out in the printed program for our McGill U. Bill Monroe concert on Thursday, Jan. 27, 1966 - - Richartd Greene's d├ębut, btw, as a Blue Grass Boy - - that the date of that show marked 15-years-and-one-week since that tune was cut). Which begs the question, is there a question about Max Terhune in the bluegraass trivia game? (Max was Bill's friend who had a part in the movie "Rawhide") - - or, more to the point, is Raw Hide banjoist Rudy Lyle still with us (I have a feeling Doug Hutchens will know the answer to that one).......

>>>Unfortunately we lost Rudy Lyle on February 11, 1985. I had just finished an article about him for Blue Grass Unlimited and he had corrected a few things. He was getting back into playing some after many years on inactivity on the banjo.

I remember during the times Rudy and I talked, him mentioning Max Terhune. For a while he traveled with Bill as part of the "Show". Max and his doll Elmer, he was a ventriliquist.

I've been doing some research (Searching the Prarie Farmer and Articles about the Chicago Worlds Fair in hopes of finding a photograph of the dancers) about Bill, Charlie, Birch and I think it was Larry Moore who were the dance troupe that worked together in the early days in Chicago and if I remember correctly, Max had been a part of the WLS show about that time. The friendship might have started there.

Doug Benson>>>>>good information on Rudy and Max - - much appreciated! I seem to recall your article on Rudy......I believe you mentioned he was involved in manufacturing some kind of light aircraft (or maybe gliders or some such)? I wish I had become acquainted with Rudy the way you did (what a gift). When Rudy played onstage at "Roanoke 1965", for some reason Carlton Haney had to reach over Rudy's banjo neck from behind and fret the fifth string (does the short string need a special capo or what is that all about?)........Seems to me I took a photo that captured that moment (a photo buried somewhere in my archives).....Come to think of it, it was probably one of Petronko's photos (at the time he gave me prints of most of his Fincastle shots).

Ya, whey you capo a banjo down say 2 frets the 5th string needs to be capoed two as well. Possibly he was using Don Reno's banjo that didn't have a way to capo the 5th string. Most people used small nail like metal pieces to do it. I'l love to see a photo of that.
The Rudy Lyle article was in April of 85. Pete had it slated for July, but when he passed away suddenly it was rolled forward and I did an obit with the article.

He was always interested in airplanes. Even when he was working for Bill. "I 've always been liked airplanes Back when I was living down on Boscobel Street, me and Randy Hughes, who was with Cowboy Copas whey they had their accident, learned to fly together. We would go over to Comelia Fort Air Park there in Nashville and go flying."

He bought plane and totally rebuilt it and enjoyed flying.

A couple of years before Pete had asked me to do some writing for BU. He didn't know if I could write or not, but I guess he figured I would do the digging. But I asked who would he want storys about he said "We've had more request for a story on Edd Mayfield more than anyone else and the next one will be Rudy Lyle." It took about 3 years of digging and the Edd Mayfield story finally appeared then I started on Rudy.
I first called him and ask him about it and he went thru this thing "nobody even knows who I am any more....". We talked a while and he asked where I was from and I said Stuart Virginia and that melted the ice since he was from Rocky Mount Va about 50 miles or so away...He invited me down and I made arrangements to go visit him.

I need to put alot of this stuff down, as I am told frequently and reminded all to often by events like Don Lineberger's fire where he died and literally thousands of photos, tapes and great stories went back to where they came.....the air.

There are several of us that need to do some digging and makes sure our "archives" are safe from fire, flood and those who will take care of our things after we are gone that have no idea of what we have.

1 comment:

  1. I’m trying to locate your friend Doug Benson. Can you help me?

    I’m involved in a major project to digitize folk and bluegrass magazines. I’ve already cleared permissions for American Songwriter, Americana Rhythm Music Magazine, Autoharp Quarterly, Bluegrass Now, Bluegrass Star, Broadside (Boston)/Broadside of Boston/Broadside and the Free Press, Broadside (New York), The Canada Folk Bulletin, Canadian Folk Music Bulletin/Canadian Folk Music, Come All Ye, Dirty Linen, Fairport Fanatics, FolkWorks, Hootenanny, HOT WIRE: The Journal of Women’s Music and Culture, The Little Sandy Review, Old-Time Herald, Paid My Dues, People’s Songs Bulletin, Sing and String, Sing Out!/Sing Out Bulletin, and Singalong!

    I would like to include Bluegrass Breakdown, the magazine that Doug edited, so I need to ask his permission.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions before you connect me to Doug if that would be preferable to you.

    If Doug is no longer living, might you know of other former members of Toronto Area Bluegrass Committee who might be able to give permission in his place.

    Thank you in advance for your help.