Hooked on Bluegrass

Larry Cordle

My earliest recollections of introductions to music were, like a lot of rural Southern boys the various churches that I attended as a child with my Grandparents and/or my parents.....they were all Baptists, so there was a lot of singing old songs with lots of mountain flavor (sometimes the preacher would LINE the songs. That is, he would say the line that the congretation was to sing & they would repeat it.

My great-grandfather was a claw-hammer banjo, and fiddle player....also a great dancer...I have no Idea why I can't dance. Ha! He was the first person that I know of who saw to my introduction to Bluegrass music.....he had an old victrola in a country store that he ran.....as a child I would stand on pop (soda) cases & hold the head (which was actually broken) on that old victrola to hear the wonderful 78 rpm records that it held.

He, we, I, loved Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers (my personal favs), also, fiddlin' Arthur Smith, Roy Acuff, Molly O'Day & Hank Williams........my favorite was always bluegrass though.....The songs had such stories. Tragedy, romance, death, longing for something long gone, Trains, rounders, gamblers etc., etc. Things that a country boy from Eastern Kentucky had only read about, and never thought he'd see.

Our neighbors at Cordell, Ky. were the Skaggs' family. Hobart, Dorothy, Linda, Garold, Gary & RICKY SKAGGS. Our entertainment was getting together and playing bluegrass music.....It was a wonderful way to be raised. I only wish other people could experience what I got to experience as a kid...........The music in fact, other than family, was the one constant in our lives. Bluegrass music. All the local radio stations played it. We learned from listening to the simple yet so demanding lyrics, melodies and arrangements.

I've played in a lot of different bands. Different kinds of music, Rock & Roll, R&B, Country, Blues etc., but the one that always takes me back home is Bluegrass. It always reminds me of the simplicity of life before computers, cell phones, tv's etc. It's not that I'm that old, it's just that life was simple in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in the 50's. When I was a child, and when Bluegrass music was, and still is, king I've been hooked on it all my life.....I've always loved it.

(posted 1/22/2006)

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