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Silent Strings

Rosa Lee Watson, Wife of the Late Doc Watson has Died

Rosa Lee Carlton Watson, age 81, of Deep Gap, died on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22, 2012, at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation in Boone. Watson was in the Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation following a stroke earlier. She and Doc were married in 1947. Their first son, Merle Watson, was killed in a tractor accident in 1985. Her husband, Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson passed away earlier this year.

Country Music Hall of Fame Legend Kitty Wells, 92, Has Died

Kitty Wells/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- Kitty Wells, a pioneer who is credited with shattering the industry barriers for women artists of Country Music, died today at her Nashville home. She was 92. Hailed as “The Queen of Country Music” and a member of CMA’s Country Music Hall of Fame since 1976, Wells enjoyed a 14-year run of Top 10 hits that helped make it possible for women to achieve success as Country artists. Kitty Wells was always a friend of bluegrass music.

Country Music Association Remembers Earl Scruggs

Earl ScruggsRemembering Earl Scruggs
By Bob Doerschuk
In all of American popular music, Earl Scruggs stands as one of the very few musicians who singularly changed performance practice on their instruments and in the process birthed an entirely new genre. Without him, bluegrass music as we know it would almost certainly never have happened. And countless young players might never have chosen the banjo as their vehicle for creativity.

Americana Artist Levon Helm Passes After Battle with Cancer

Levon Helm from his Facebook pageLevon Helm, 71, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer Thursday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. His web site had these few words... "Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon. He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."

The Legendary Master of the 3-Finger Banjo, Earl Scruggs Dies

Earl ScruggsThe legendary master of the 3-Finger "Scruggs-Style" banjo died yesterday of natural causes. Earl Scruggs, 88, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee. He had been in declining health for a while. There is no doubt that Earl Scruggs and his banjo were responsible for the sound of what we call bluegrass music today.

Jody Rainwater Passed Away December 24th

Jody Rainwater/Penny Parsons/ Charles Edward Johnson, a.k.a. Jody Rainwater, passed away in his sleep on the evening of Saturday, December 24, 2011, following a lengthy illness. He was 92. Jody was born on April 13, 1919 near Mount Airy, North Carolina. He began his musical career in 1936, on WMFR radio in High Point. After serving in the Marines during World War II, Jody teamed with Woody Hauser in the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys, at WTOB in Winston Salem. There, Jody began to hone his skills as a comedian, adapting the stage name, "Little Jody." The legendary bass player also played mandolin and did all of the booking for the band. In 1948, he joined Smokey Graves & the Blue Star Boys at WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia.

American Singer-Banjo Player Wade Mainer, 104, Passed Away

Wade MainerBluegrass music pioneer Wade Mainer passed away yesterday. He was 104 years old. Mainer's health took a sudden down turn about a week ago and he passed away Monday, September 12, 2011. He was probably best known for his work with the Sons of the Mountaineers which bridged the gap between old-time music and bluegrass. While his banjo technique was a two-finger style, rather than the Scruggs three-finger bluegrass rolls, his style was definitely an influence on Earl Scrugg's three finger technique.

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