Hooked on Bluegrass

Riley Baugus

My dad was born in southern Appalachian, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. We lived near Winston-Salem, and spent most of our free time up at my grand parent’s house in Sparta, which was about an hour away. That was the music that my dad heard when he was growing up. Most of my dad’s record collection was old time, bluegrass, or gospel music. That is the music I heard in the house growing up, and pretty much how I got interested. We also went to the local Baptist church, and hearing that a capella singing also sparked my interest.

I started playing when I was ten years old. They offered string instruments in the school system. I wanted to learn to play the fiddle. I thought they were going to teach me how to play the fiddle, but it turned out to be a violin class. I stuck with it long enough to get some musical background and ability.

When I was eleven, I saved my money and bought a guitar out of the Sears catalogue. Then my dad and I built a banjo out of scrap wood. It was rough as can be, but I learned to play on it. Then, later on we went to pawn shop and got a factory built banjo that I learned to play a little better on, and have been playing ever since.

(posted 7/8/2010)

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