Sparta, TN -- Former members of Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass, Roland White and Blake Williams, are set to honor the legendary singer and songwriter on Saturday, April 26th at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC with their special presentation of "100 Years Of Lester Flatt."
Considered one of the forefathers of Bluegrass music, Lester Flatt was the lead singer and guitarist for Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys alongside Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts, who are credited with creating the "bluegrass" sound when they hit the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in December 1945. In 1948, Flatt and Scruggs left Monroe's band and began their own venture with much success. The duo traveled the country, sponsored by Martha White, and wrote and recorded a large part of bluegrass music that is still being recorded today. After Flatt & Scruggs disbanded in 1969, Flatt started his own band, The Nashville Grass that included Roland White on mandolin and later, Blake Williams on banjo.
Roland White joined The Nashville Grass in 1969 and worked with the group until 1973 when he left to join his brother, Clarence White, in a television venture. Blake Williams joined The Nashville Grass in 1978 and continued to perform with the band until Flatt passed away in 1979. White and Williams presented the idea to MerleFest Artist Relations Manager, Steve Johnson last year. "Lester would have been 100 years old this June and Roland and I felt it was so important to commemorate the life of this iconic person in bluegrass music history," states Blake Williams. "So we made our pitch to Steve and are so thankful that he and the MerleFest staff agreed that Lester should be honored in some way at this year's festival. Not only is it important for Roland and I to reminisce about Lester with the folks who knew him and his music, but it's essential that we continue to educate the younger generation on the people who made bluegrass what it is today."
Roland White and Blake Williams will present "100 Years Of Lester Flatt" at MerleFest on Saturday, April 26th. The event will take place at the Mayes Pit stage beginning at 10:45am ET, located on the Wilkes County Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. For more information on MerleFest including ticket information and a complete schedule, please visit www.merlefest.org. For more on Roland White and Blake Williams, visit www.RolandWhite.com and www.Facebook.com/blakewilliamsbluegrass.