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Robert 'Tut' Taylor - The Flatpickin' Dobro Man Passes at 91

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Robert (Tut) TaylorMr. Robert “Tut” Arthur Taylor Sr., age 91, of Wilkesboro, died Thursday, April 9, 2015 at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. He was born November 20, 1923 in Milledgeville, Georgia to Herman H. and Lillie Pierce Johnson Taylor. Mr. Taylor was a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a US Army and Navy Veteran. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ella Lee Blount Taylor; daughter, Barbara Taylor; granddaughter, Melissa Boone Dyer and great grandson, Robert Benjamin Dyer.

Surviving are four sons, Robert Taylor, Jr. of McIntyre, Georgia; Mark Taylor and wife Valerie of Nashville, Tennessee, Lester Taylor and wife Kerri of Omaha, David Taylor and wife Linda of Hays, N.C.; three daughters; Shirley Smith and husband Charles of McIntyre, Georgia, LouEllen Bolan of Canada, Linda Taylor of Lewisburg, Tennessee; sixteen grandchildren; and eighteen great grandchildren.

The family will receive friends at Miller Funeral Service from 7:00 until 9:00 o’clock Friday night. Burial will be in Baldwin Memorial Gardens in Milledgeville, Georgia. Miller Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be made to www.millerfuneralservice.com

The man who gave the flatpick a new voice...

It all began near the banks of the muddy Oconee River in Georgia about the time of the second World War. A young Tut Taylor, who didn't know any better, taught himself to play a dobro with a flatpick. The resulting sound was fresh and unique, and it became Tut's trademark. Folks called him the "flatpickin' dobro man". Through the years he became one of bluegrass music's most appreciated musicians for his contributions to the music, both on and off the stage.

Having recorded or performed for decades with many other legends in bluegrass and country music, Tut is a rich source of historical information and anecdotes on the formative years of Bluegrass music, the growth of the music industry in Nashville, and the people that made it happen. From his association with great musicians such as Norman Blake, Roland and Clarence White, John Hartford, and Vassar Clements, to playing in Roy Acuff's band on the last performance of the "Grand Ol' Opry" at the Ryman Auditorium, to opening doors for a young fiddler named Mark O'Connor on his first trip to Nashville, to his involvement with the Grammy-winning recording "The Great Dobro Sessions", Tut has been in the thick of bluegrass, old-time, and country music history for a long time.

Today, in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge and Brushy Mountains of North Carolina, the sweet sound of Tut's flatpicked dobro still resonates, catching the ear of a new generation of pickers. His insight into the music he loves has endeared him to many new fans who appreciate what he has to say as well as what he has to pick. He is often asked about the future of bluegrass and old-time music and his answer is usually along the lines of "Just pick it and keep on picking it." And that's his philosophy in a nutshell - just pick it, just let people hear it and come to love it, and the music will take care of itself.

If he can ever break away from pickin' for a while, Tut will be adding some of his stories and personal photos on this website so that we can enjoy some of the rich musical history he has seen firsthand. In the meantime, here is a little background information on "The Flat Pickin' Dobro Man" himself, Robert A. "Tut" Taylor.

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