Hooked on Bluegrass

Ron Spears

I first heard the banjo on the Beverly Hillbilly TV show and on the Bonnie and Clyde soundtrack. It really didn't do much for me at the time. Around 1968 I started listening to bands like the Byrds and Poco and started getting interested in the Country Rock sound which led to Buck Owens and Don Rich. Hee Haw and The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour both began featuring the five string banjo and I became interested in learning to play it.

Finding real great bluegrass records in Utah was almost impossible but I was able to find a couple Dillard albums. Around that time I was watching a TV show featuring Jim Ed Brown called "On the Road" and the guests were the Osborne Brothers. When they started singing I went through the ceiling. Thanks to a blurb in Sing Out I was able to subscribe to The Bluegrass Unlimited and became aware of all the recordings available. I spent $40 a week on albums (about 10 in those days) and soon became hooked! I still to this day can pretty much remember every tid bit I read about the music.

(posted 1/22/2006)

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