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Obituary

Bluegrass Pioneer Melvin Goins Dies at age 83

Melvin GoinsBluegrass music lost another of the founders and pioneers of the music. Melvin Goins, 83, has passed on. Melvin played bluegrass and mountain string music for more six decades. The music he performed became known as bluegrass thanks to Bill Monroe at about the time Melvin and his brother, Ray, started playing professionally. The Goins Brothers performed together until Ray retired from touring in 1994. Melvin continued performing and was on the road when he died.

Bluegrass Music Patriarch Ralph Stanley Dies At 89

Ralph StanleyNashville, TN -- Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday from difficulties with skin cancer. He was 89.

Last of the First Generation: Dr. Ralph Stanley Dies at 89

Dr. Ralph StanleyBill Monroe. Flatt & Scruggs. The Stanley Brothers. Ralph Stanley was the last man standing, carrying the torch for the original pioneers of bluegrass music alone since the death of Earl Scruggs in the spring of 2012. Today, June 23, 2016, "Dr. Ralph," as he was known, died at his home in the same mountains of southwestern Virginia where he was born in February 1927. Ralph Stanley was 89 years old.

James King, "The Bluegrass Storyteller," 1958 - 2016

James KingNashville, TN -- It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved singer and songwriter James King, who was affectionately known as "The Bluegrass Storyteller." He was 57 years old. King, a recovering alcoholic, suffered complications from a prolonged battle with cirrhosis of the liver.

The Stetson Family bids Farewell to Andy Carswell - RIP

Andy CarswellMelbourne, Australia -- The Stetson Family wrote in their latest newsletter that their mandolin player, Vale Andy Carswell, has died. They wrote, "It’s with a heavy heart that this newsletter is to let people know that our mandolin player, Andy Carswell, passed away recently. Those close to the band have known that three and a half years ago Andy was diagnosed with liver cancer. Being the humble and philosophical person he was, Andy played this very close to his chest, and, as the band, we followed his lead and kept it on the down-low. He never wanted a fuss made and he wanted to keep playing with us whenever and wherever he could. Treatment at times made this not possible, then when he was back on his feet it was as if nothing was wrong and back to the business of having fun and playing, writing songs and touring round the countryside having a ball."

Robert 'Tut' Taylor - The Flatpickin' Dobro Man Passes at 91

Robert (Tut) TaylorMr. Robert “Tut” Arthur Taylor Sr., age 91, of Wilkesboro, died Thursday, April 9, 2015 at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. He was born November 20, 1923 in Milledgeville, Georgia to Herman H. and Lillie Pierce Johnson Taylor. Mr. Taylor was a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a US Army and Navy Veteran. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ella Lee Blount Taylor; daughter, Barbara Taylor; granddaughter, Melissa Boone Dyer and great grandson, Robert Benjamin Dyer.

Country Gent Bill Yates has Died

Bill YatesOne of bluegrass music's favorite artists, Bill Yates, 78, passed away yesterday after being hospitalized earlier. One says a bulb burns brightest before it goes out and this was the casee with Bill Yates. After being hospitalized for bleeding on the brain, it looked yesterday that his condition was improving. That prognosis did not continue and he passed away Monday. Yates had performed with the Father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe and the King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin.

Music World Mourns the Passing of Miss Dixie Hall

Dixie HallDixie Hall, 80, affectionately known as Miss Dixie, and wife of songwriter Tom T. Hall, passed away in her home Friday after enduring a long illness. Dixie was born Iris Violet May Lawrence in her native Sutton Coldfield, England. Songwriters Dixie and Tom T. covered the country, bluegrass, folk and roots realm with their storytelling songs. The two of them put out song after song of great lyrics and music. Miss Dixie was loved by artists and fans and she loved them as well.

Dawn Sears has Lost her Battle with Cancer - Updated

Dawn SearsNashville, TN -- Dawn Sears, 53, stellar vocalist and member of Rounder Record’s 4-time Grammy-nominated band The Time Jumpers, died Thursday night, December 11. Diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2012, Sears fought the disease ferociously and championed efforts for lung cancer research. In addition to having been a Time Jumper, she was also a long-time member of Vince Gill’s touring band. She is survived by her husband, the fiddler and fellow Time Jumper Kenny Sears and daughter Tess. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Johnny Vincent Passed Away Sunday, October 5th

Johnny Lee VincentJohnny Lee Vincent of The Sally Mountain Show, promoter of the Sally Mountain Park Bluegrass Festival in Queen City, MO and father of bluegrass music artists Rhonda, Darrin, and Brian Vincent passed away on Sunday, October 5, 2014. Rhonda Vincent shared his obituary. Johnny Vincent's Sally Mountain Show has been a significant influence on the music over the years. Here is the official obituary as presented today.

Pinecastle Records Founder Tom Riggs has Died

Thomas W. RiggsThe staff at Pinecastle Records are saddened to announce that Pinecastle's former owner Thomas W. Riggs died on Saturday August 30th, 2014 at the age of 78. Tom left an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry and will be remembered not only for the way he conducted business but for the many artists that he encouraged and helped establish. A private service will be held in his hometown of Louisville, KY.

Bluegrass Guitarist James Alan Shelton, 53, has Passed Away

James Alan SheltonOne of bluegrass music's favorite guitar legends, James Alan Shelton, has passed away. Best known for his work with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Shelton's melodic guitar style was instantly identifiable and unique. He died while at Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee where he was fighting the cancer within him.

Lester Armistead has Passed Away (Updated)

Lester ArmisteadThe Tennessee Mafia Jug Band family is saddened to share that our dear Lester Armistead has crossed over. It is now a joyous day for him as he has surely been welcomed warmly to Heaven, but a heartbreaking day for those of us who had the honor of knowing him, working with him, loving him, dancing and playing with him. Please remember our family in your prayers. And please know what great joy YOU gave to him every day by allowing him to entertain you.

Appalachian Musician and Bluegrass Radio Host Otis Head, 94 Dies

Otis HeadHarmonica stylist and 60-year radio host Otis Head, age 94, of the Plainview Community, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Heritage Health Care in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. He was born near Prater’s Mill, North of Varnell, Ga. at Gobbler’s Knob. Head was also a prizefighter, Western and Appalachian music promoter and performer and record producer. He began his performance career competing on a talent show in “Doc” Chamberlain’s Medicine Show hosted by country legend Rambin’ Tommy Scott in the late 1930’s.

Bluegrass Innovator and Pioneer George Shuffler has Died

George Shuffler Bluegrass Hall of Fame Recipient, George Shuffler passed away yesterday, April 7th, just shy of his 89th birthday. Shuffler was born in Valdese, North Carolina on April 15, 1925. Affectionately known as "The Third Stanley Brother" performed on many of bluegrass music's most historic recordings. George toured 20 years with the Stanley Brothers where he developed his unique cross picking guitar style that has been a big influence to many musicians. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and was a recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award in 2007. In 2011, Shuffler was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Fame along with Del McCoury. George Shuffler’s influences in bluegrass are as an innovative bass player, guitar stylist and featured vocalist and humorist, primarily as a sideman in some of the most important bands in the music’s history.

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