To hear of the passing of Les Sears was heartbreaking. He passed away while on stage at the Yeehaw Music Fest on January 15th. As sad as I was, I smiled knowing he was doing something he loved.
Les and Bluegrass
Les enjoyed emceeing events and festivals. He was a regular emcee at many festivals but I had the honor of watching him display his charm and love of the music at Chantilly Farm Bluegrass Festival a few times. Les was thrilled when he asked to emcee. His ability to retain so much information about bands helped make Les a great emcee. When he spoke on stage, it wasn’t scripted, it was knowledge.
Les also enjoyed pickin’. Whether it was in the middle of a jam or on stage, the quality was superb. During SPBGMA and IBMA Les would wear his fingers out pickin’ in sessions all over. Year before last at SPBGMA Les showed me his fingers after much of a week of jamming with friends. I told him he should take a break. He laughed and said he would on the drive home but until then he was playing when he had the chance.
Les, as a radio broadcaster, was great. He put on a show that made everyone feel welcome. His laid back approach to the mic was comforting and his ability to recall facts about the songs and artists kept everyone entertained. Les shared bluegrass from yesterday and today, as long as it had a traditional sound. Although Les had been in radio for many years, we only shared three of them together. Les was a sound force in helping grow recognition for The Bluegrass Jamboree.
Les, The Family Man
Just a little over two years ago Les’ wife, Gladys passed away. Each time we spoke on the phone he mentioned her. I know he still longed to have her by his side. Now, they’re together again.
Les was proud of his children. Often, he shared events that were going on with them, who he has recently spoke with and how they were. I felt as if I knew them because he included me in their life stories. My prayers go out to his children and family members. Les was a hard working man. I believe everyone knew how hard he had work with the Postal Service. He was able to provide for his family and was honored to have done so.
A Special Tribute
Bluegrass Time, Les’ show, aired each Sunday evening, p.m. eastern time on The Bluegrass Jamboree. We’re going to close it out with a Farewell Show, Sunday January 27th. Please join us for this special broadcast.
All of us here at The Bluegrass Jamboree are to miss Les but we’ll always remember him for his character and the character voices he did.
There’s no more Carlton Hayne
There’s no more Wolfman Jack.
But we will forever hold Les Sears in our hearts. Till we see you again…