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John McEuen Celebrates 70th Birthday with a Few Hundred Friends

John McEuen 70th BirthdayJohn McEuen says he wanted to have a birthday party at a place where he didn’t have to clean up after it was over, so he brought his gang of musician friends together for a birthday jam on the highly popular show, “Music City Roots,” at The Factory in Franklin. The String Wizard was joined onstage by country and bluegrass icons Jesse McReynolds, Roland White, Jeff Hanna, David Amram, Rhonda Vincent, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Les Thompson, John Cable, Matt Cartsonis, Bernie Leadon and John Carter Cash.

James Reams Celebrates his Birthday January 10th

James ReamsJames Reams of James Reams & The Barnstormers will be celebrating his birthday in a few days. We hope you'll join in the festivities by playing or listening to some of his original music in honor of this special day. "Hills of My County" is an original from his Troubled Times CD or the semi-autobiographical "Where No Heart Goes Hungry" from Wild Card (also available on AirPlay Direct) with the late Walter Hensley on banjo.

John McEuen Celebrates 70th Birthday at Music City Roots

John McEuenJohn McEuen has asked a group of friends from varying genres of music to join him in celebrating his 70th birthday in Nashville. Born December 19, 1945 in Oakland, California, the String Wizard is bringing what he is calling his “Music City Jam and Christmas Show” to Music City Roots at The Factory in Franklin on December 16. Joining him with be original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band bass player (’66-’75) Les Thompson, who performed on the “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album and many of their early hits. Along with Les will be another former Dirt Band alumni, John Cable, who went on the NGDB’s historic trip to the Soviet Union in May of 1977. The NGDB was the first American group to tour Russia. Joining them will be long time musical pal Matt Cartsonis (mandola and guitar) who is also known as an ‘acrobatic’ singer.

James Reams Remembers and Celebrates Walter Hensley's Birthday

 James Reams and Walter HensleyBy James Reams
“I had to learn off the radio,” recalled Walter Hensley during an interview for the documentary Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass. “Didn’t have any records or anything. I just kept messing with the banjo roll. Drove my Dad crazy because he worked in the mines, and he’d have to get up at four in the morning." Replacing broken fingerpicks and strings was possible only when someone with a car was going to town – 35 miles away – and could bring some back. So the future Banjo Baron of Baltimore sometimes made fingerpicks out of PET Milk cans. Walt insisted “They were not all that bad; better than nothin’.” To replace broken strings he sometimes cut the insulation off blasting wire that was used for setting off dynamite in the mines, then tuned it down low enough so it wouldn’t break when played.

Stars Come Out to Celebrate Dr. Ralph Stanley's 88th Birthday

Dr. Ralph StanleyNashville, TN -- The Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center will be hosting their annual fundraiser on February 21st to celebrate trailblazing legend Dr. Ralph Stanley's 88th birthday. The star-studded event will feature performances from Country mainstay Lee Ann Womack, Bluegrass prodigy Nathan Stanley, rising stars Virginia Whirlwind and more. The annual event will take place at The Holiday Inn in Bristol, VA. You can learn more about the event and the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center HERE.

Bluegrass Pioneer Curly Seckler Celebrates 95th Birthday

Curly Seckler 95th BirthdayBluegrass pioneer Curly Seckler celebrated his 95th birthday on December 25, 2014. Seckler was born on Christmas day in 1919, in China Grove, North Carolina. He began his musical career in 1935, in a band with his brothers, Marvin on guitar, George on fiddle, and Duard ("Lucky") on guitar. Curly played the tenor banjo. They called themselves the Yodeling Rangers (later changed to the Trail Riders). In 1939, they landed a daily radio show on the new station in Salisbury, WSTP. Later that year, Curly was recruited by Charlie Monroe to be the tenor singer for his new group, the Kentucky Partners. They appeared on the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, WV and on WHAS in Louisville, KY.

Bluegrass Legend Jesse McReynolds Celebrates His 85th Birthday

Jesse McReynoldsNashville, TN -- “I’m here as a friend and a fan,” Grand Ole Opry star Jan Howard declared to a crowd of Jesse McReynolds’ closest friends and family on July 13th, 2014, in Gallatin, Tennessee. It was a lively gathering on a sunny Sunday at Jesse’s farm, the Pick Inn, to celebrate his 85th birthday and there was no shortage of tributes from Jesse’s colleagues, neighbors and friends. Nine of Nashville’s finest, Homer Bradley (the unofficial “Mayor of Cairo”), WSM announcer Eddie Stubbs, fiddle-player Jim Buchanan, Opry stars Jeannie Seely and Jan Howard, Carl Jackson, banjo-player Mike Scott, Larry Stephenson and Sam Bush, roasted McReynolds who was praised for his sense of humor, his mentorship of other artists, his contributions to bluegrass music and, most of all, his sincere and kind personality. “He was just what I wanted him to be,” said Stubbs of his first meeting with Jesse, “we learned so much just by observing these people…they set the bar really high.” Jeannie Seely echoed that sentiment telling the party, “he always kicks things up just a little notch.”

Wish Happy Birthday to James Reams January 10th

James ReamsJames Reams of James Reams & The Barnstormers will be another year older next week. We hope you'll help him celebrate by playing his music in honor of his special day.

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