Bluegrass legend Curly Seckler, 93, is recovering at home after suffering a mini stroke on May 19. Seckler suffered some loss of his ability to speak, but fortunately did not experience any paralysis. He was transported to the hospital and underwent multiple tests, but was not admitted. He is working with a speech therapist and is making progress in his recovery.
Seckler celebrated 77 years in bluegrass music last year. Seckler is renowned as one of the pioneering tenor singers in bluegrass, including 12 years with Flatt & Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys and 21 years with the Nashville Grass. He celebrated his 75th anniversary in bluegrass music in 2010 and his 92nd birthday in 2011! He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2004, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2011.
Though the Nashville Grass officially disbanded in 1994, Seckler and Spears have performed together a number of times over the last eight years, most recently at the Bill Monroe Centennial in Owensboro, KY in September of 2011. For this performance they will be joined by well-known Nashville musicians Johnny Warren on fiddle, Charlie Cushman on banjo, John Tomlin on mandolin, and Kent Blanton on bass.
Seckler first performed on radio in Salisbury, NC in 1935, ten years before what is now considered the first bluegrass band came together under Bill Monroe's leadership.
Curly worked several times early in his career with Charlie Monroe, filling the role of tenor singer after the breakup of the Monroe Brothers. He went on to work with the Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse, the Sauceman Brothers, and spent a dozen years with Flatt & Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys. His razor sharp tenor voice and driving rhythm mandolin "chop" can be heard on many of their classic hits.
Seckler left Flatt & Scruggs in 1962, but rejoined Flatt in the Nashville Grass in 1973. After Flatt's death, Seckler took over leadership of the band for another 15 years before retiring from touring in 1994. However, he never stopped performing, and in 2004 he made a collection of new recordings and began an ongoing series of appearances on festivals, concerts, and television shows.