Hooked on Bluegrass

Cliff Wagner



My father and I were watching hee haw together and we really liked roy clark’s banjo playing. I was ten years old and I played clarinet and uke and my father and I would play old jazz and rag time together.

For my eleventh birthday my mother bought me a banjo. It had a particle board rim and no resonator and an action was so high you could slide your finger under. So I started to take lessons from a local guy and I picked it up quick.

Then one day my father decided it was time I had a better banjo. We drove up to Nashville from Greenwood Mississippi, walked into a music store with about 50 banjos in it and dad said “pick one.” I found a Tennessee banjo made by Mark Taylor and when I played my first few notes on that banjo it was over.

There was no rehab for me, I was a bluegrass junkie. To this date that day and the day I got married are the best days of my life.

(posted 12/31/2005)


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