Q. How did a child of the 60’s, who grew up listening to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, etc. end up a Bluegrass fan and banjo picker?
A. Easy! My folks gave me a copy of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 3-record set Will The Circle Be Unbroken for Xmas in 1972. I devoured the liner notes while listening to it. As a result, I knew some artists names and became familiar with some songs from world of bluegrass. Fast forward a couple years and I’m interviewing for an on-air position at my college radio station (WMRA-FM). I just wanted to be on the air; it didn’t matter what show or genre. The opening was for their Country Afternoon show and the interview consisted of one question, “What do you think of Vassar Clements?” It was only from reading those liner notes that I was able to answer, “Oh, just the best fiddle player this side of the north pole.” I got the job. And spent the next couple years spinning records on the air for a few hours each week. Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanleys, Doug Dillard, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin…the list goes on.
So, “Thanks!” to Mom & Dad for the record and to Karen Holp and all the great folks at WMRA for planting the seed. And to the Dirt Band for breathing new life into a uniquely American music style by bringing together 2 generations of musicians for their “Circle” album.
Here’s a few photos…hope to continue adding as time rolls on!