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Dec 1, 2020 - 3:13:48 PM
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RV6

USA

1392 posts since 2/3/2012

I've been listening to "favorties" in my music library over the last few days and one of my favorites of all time is Bill Martin who, sadly, is no longer with us.

It occured to me that there are new members and perhaps some old ones who never came across his music on the Hangout.   So, here's a link:  https://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/home.asp?id=2935

I really enjoy his version of "Rye Whiskey".

Dec 1, 2020 - 3:25:01 PM
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Emiel

Austria

9704 posts since 1/22/2003

Yes, that's very well done, I like it a lot (his Rye Whiskey version and his other recordings). I remember him well. I had almost forgotten that he has passed away…

Edited by - Emiel on 12/01/2020 15:27:50

Dec 1, 2020 - 4:54:29 PM
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542 posts since 3/9/2013

I like the music but that Bio on his page makes me really like him. And I’ve never met him.

Dec 1, 2020 - 5:22:44 PM
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2453 posts since 4/7/2010

With awful internet bandwidth I rarely listen to music on the internet, but for some reason the click bait got me tonight. Bill's Low Down Blues is one of the best, honest banjo tunes I have heard in years. Huge in its simplicity.

Thank you for pointing out amazing music I would have missed.

Bob Smakula

Dec 1, 2020 - 5:45:43 PM
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RV6

USA

1392 posts since 2/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by banjobrewer

I like the music but that Bio on his page makes me really like him. And I’ve never met him.


I corresponded with him a couple of times.  Such a gentle, talented, unassuming man.  I wish I would have known him in "real life" but, I think I did, through his music.

I'll be tickled if folks on the Hangout would listen to his music and enjoy it.  He's one of the best ---that no one ever heard of, IMO.

Dec 1, 2020 - 8:18:09 PM
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bigleaf

USA

67 posts since 5/5/2019

Oh, that’s real nice. Haunting and beautiful. Thanks for this.

Dec 1, 2020 - 9:55:20 PM
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1548 posts since 7/4/2009

I didn't know that Bill had died. He always seemed much less confident in his playing and singing than I think he should've been. His vocals reminded me a little of Doc Watson.

Thanks for helping keep his memory alive.

Dec 2, 2020 - 2:18:55 AM
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Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

40873 posts since 3/7/2006

He died in 2016, but it took 6 months before it became known to the BHO community: https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/325557.

I miss him. He had a very pleasant and uncomplicated style of playing and singing. His voice reminded me about Frank Proffitt and Pete Seeger. Visit his music page on BHO and enjoy: https://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/music.asp?id=2935 

Edited by - janolov on 12/02/2020 02:23:27

Dec 2, 2020 - 6:31:31 AM
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7136 posts since 11/4/2005

Matthew wrote: "I didn't know that Bill had died. He always seemed much less confident in his playing and singing than I think he should've been."

I got to know Bill pretty well, as well as you can in our BHO exchanges. He came to banjo late in life, when he was about 70, and he was pretty insecure about it at first. Back in the mid-2000s, when he joined the BHO, old time banjo was very much about playing complicated fiddle tune arrangements, and he had a lot of trouble with that. Slowly he began experimenting with using the banjo to accompany his singing, which at the time not a lot of members were doing, but there were a number of us that gave him a lot of encouragement, and he responded to that and gradually found his groove, and posted some really, really exceptional music. It speaks to what the BHO community can be when it's at it's very best, a warm, supporting family of pickers. I admit I don't participate the way I used to, and if there is another Bill Martin out there, I'm not as likely to notice. I'll be 70 now myself in a few weeks, and it's all I can do to just get my own practice time in. It's time for us boomers to pass the torch, but just the same, Bill's music still stands as a testament to what a little bit of empathy can accomplish at just the right moment.

- Don B.

Dec 2, 2020 - 9:20:04 AM
Players Union Member

pickn5

USA

1546 posts since 8/8/2012

Thanks for pointing out his playing and singing. Rye Whiskey was great. I'll have to listen to the rest of his postings.

Dec 2, 2020 - 9:40:24 PM
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5904 posts since 3/11/2006

Bill was also a U.S. Marine who fought at the Chosin Reservoir.  His 1st Marine Division was cut-off in the mountains above the reservoir, outnumbered by something like 10 to 1.  Temperatures got as low as 50 degrees below zero fahrenheit.

The link contains combat footage and some graphic images so be forewarned:

The Chosin Reservoir Campaign: Frozen Chosin - YouTube

Dec 3, 2020 - 12:04:22 PM
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7136 posts since 11/4/2005

R.D. wrtoe: "Bill was also a U.S. Marine who fought at the Chosin Reservoir."

He mentions being a marine in passing, but says nothing about his service in his BHO bio. They never do.

Dec 3, 2020 - 8:22:36 PM
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5904 posts since 3/11/2006

Very true Don.

I will say this though, at the Chosin Reservoir, Bill and his comrades fought their way out of a trap against unbelievable odds. Along with places like Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, and Khe Sanh, The Chosin was of of the epic battles that guaranteed the reputation of the USMC for all time.

The battle lasted from 17 November  to 13 December 1950. On this date 70 years ago, our 19 year-old friend was a little over half-way through the ordeal.

As a "Jarhead" in the mid-'70's we were taught to revere Marines like Bill. It was my lifelong honor to have met some of these men, and my honor to have been acquainted with Bill and to have spoke with him very briefly about his service.

Please excuse the thread drift.

Edited by - R.D. Lunceford on 12/03/2020 20:38:08

Dec 6, 2020 - 10:58:45 AM
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JSB88

UK

169 posts since 3/9/2017

That is the very recording that turned me on to the 5 sting banjo. Beautiful playing and singing. In my opinion a true great

Dec 11, 2020 - 3:56:42 PM
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7136 posts since 11/4/2005

John wrote: "That is the very recording that turned me on to the 5 st(r)ing banjo."

I wish Bill were still here to read this.

Dec 11, 2020 - 4:10:21 PM
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RV6

USA

1392 posts since 2/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Don Borchelt

John wrote: "That is the very recording that turned me on to the 5 st(r)ing banjo."

I wish Bill were still here to read this.


And, as his account is still active, I hope his loved ones read this thread!

Dec 12, 2020 - 4:40:43 PM

sgonyo

USA

2 posts since 9/17/2009

That is an incredible bio! He must have been an incredible individual.

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