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by Wayne Erbsen They didn’t call her Mother Maybelle for nuthin.’ Nope. In addition to being the mother of three girls (Helen, Valerie June, and Anita), Maybelle Carter certainly earned the title of Mother of Bluegrass Guitar. Starting in 1927, her lead and rhythm guitar playing laid the foundation that was built upon by those [...]
Bluegrass hero Lester Flatt had a lot to be proud of. One of his most lasting achievements was the G run that bears his name. You can hear this distinctive guitar run in practically every traditional bluegrass song that can be played on the guitar using a G shape chord. In its original form, it [...]

Vern Williams (December 9, 1930– June 6, 2006) Vern was a singer and mandolin player who wasinstrumental in introducing Bluegrass music to the West Coastof the United States. Williams was born in Newton County, Arkansas (or Bullfrog Valley, Pope County, Arkansas), as part of a musical family, that played either the fiddle, the guitar, or […]

Folks, August 27, 2019,  marked what would have been the 94th birthday for my father, Carter Stanley. For many people, their birthdays are a cause for celebration. I can only hope that my Daddy found some small comfort at those times. I know he had to be lonely for his mother and wife that he [...]
The Orange Blossom Special was a deluxe passenger train which inspired the tune by the same name. The song was written and copyrighted by Ervin T. Rouse in 1938 and the first recording took place in 1939 by Ervin and Gordon Rouse. There has been a bit of controversy as to the original composer of [...]
If the “big bang theory” helps to explain the origin of the universe, perhaps “the big bang theory of bluegrass” will shed some light on the origin of the bluegrass music universe. First, let me say that there are two schools of thought as to the origins of bluegrass music. One has Bill Monroe single-handedly [...]
When we talk about the most popular bluegrass songs, “Nine Pound Hammer” nearly always floats to the top. Let's follow the scent and try to sniff out the origins of this famous tune. After the Civil War, when able-bodied men were scarce, former slaves and convicts were conscripted to build tunnels and lay track in [...]
  The Country Gentlemen In the early 1970s “Fox on the Run” was among the most requested bluegrass songs. Along with “Rocky Top,” a bluegrass band could scarcely play a show without fans yelling for “Rocky Top” or “Fox on the Run.” The song was written in 1968 by an Englishman named Tony Hazzard and [...]