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Joe Drumwright

March 16, 1994 OHC343 103 min.


Bluegrass musician. Born January 31, 1929. Banjo player for bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe during the 1950s.

Interview Summary

1994 March 16
(1 hour, 43 minutes)
Bluegrass musician Joe Drumwright recalls his experiences as a banjo player for Bill Monroe. Discussion includes joining Bill Monroe’s band; his childhood and career outside of music; learning the banjo; the influence of Earl Scruggs; a description of his first tour with Monroe and learning from Monroe; working on the Grand Ole Opry during the 1950s and early 1960s; meeting Elvis Presley at the Opry; his session work, including the recording of “Scotland”; experiences working with Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and a comparison of their performance style to Monroe’s; Monroe’s role as the Father of Bluegrass; playing at the reunion of Charlie and Bill Monroe; comments on the banjo styles of Earl Scruggs and Rudy Lyle; and an overall assessment of Monroe’s career.

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