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May 23, 2022 - 6:43:15 AM
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7960 posts since 9/5/2006

just wondering how many of you were influenced by your fathers in music quest.
mine was the major influence on me. he played guitar and sang real country music from the 50s and 60s . i learned guitar from him and he would sit down and practice with me although i was determined to learn left handed upside down ,,he still gave me all the tools to learn,,showed patience and knowledge of how a song was put together. i will always remember that.

May 23, 2022 - 8:41:45 AM
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9624 posts since 8/28/2013

My father was useless.

May 23, 2022 - 9:44:46 AM

4406 posts since 5/29/2011
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My father bought me guitars, paid for my guitar lessons, and did everything he could to sway me away from playing banjo or bluegrass music in general. He never could conceive the notion that musicians have to play what they feel. They have to be inspired to play a certain style or a certain instrument. He never wanted me to play banjo and he couldn't understand why I struggled with guitar but picked up banjo so easily.
When he finally realized he couldn't keep me from playing banjo, or playing bluegrass, he just constantly sniped at me every time I went out to play a show. Whenever I had a show on Saturday, if it was in the summer, he would mow hay on Tuesday so that I would have to spend all day in the hayfield on Saturday and ruin my hands so I couldn't play that night.
Every time I got the banjo out of the case, he would want me to put it away and play the guitar. He felt like paying for my guitar lessons entitled him to dictate what I could play. Maybe he was right. But I still felt like a bit encouragement would have gone a lot further. So I can appreciate George's comment. I sort of know how he feels.

May 23, 2022 - 10:50:35 AM

355 posts since 4/10/2018

My father lost most of his hearing in one ear from a japanese bombing attack. His appreciation of music was diminished. However he loved watching Grandps Jones, Stringbean and Uncle Dave Macon on TV. I guess the banjo was easy to hear. He never thought his kids ought to play one but I was fascinated by it and got a guitar, then the banjo.

May 23, 2022 - 2:12:46 PM

2971 posts since 12/4/2009


Yes. My father was always in love with banjo and bluegrass music. My mother’s half brother played very well. My father requested his services to give banjo lessons. The banjo was a Gretsch with a perch pole and a resonator by a Chicago screw.

One day, he was playing a song. My mother walked in. He said, “Dear, did you recognize my tune?” My mother said, “I listened but just can’t decide the tune. What was it?” “She’ll be coming’ around the Mountain.” He proudly said. The problem was the banjo was out of tune. He may have had the tab down.

I asked to see if I could tune it. This started me on my journey. He supported me each step of my journey.

May 23, 2022 - 4:05:19 PM

4868 posts since 11/20/2004

My dad could not play anything, but was always encouraging. He said he wanted to, but never was able. I remember one time that I was working on a particular lick and he came in and said that he was not asking me to quit, but could I play something different for a few minutes. I have no idea as to how many hours I had been doing the same thing over and over.

May 23, 2022 - 4:43:50 PM

192 posts since 12/19/2017

My father loved all the music I play. He encouraged me to do what I love. I am a wood worker and I not only made the urn for his ashes but I took the last of the walnut and built a five string neck for my 1928 Tb2 pot and I was given the privilege of playing banjo at his memorial service. I played a medley of 4 of his favorite gospel songs. What a challenge and an honor.

May 23, 2022 - 5:41:09 PM



274 posts since 10/12/2011

Dad made music with local guys in middle Tennessee (bass and country “slap” rhythm), often ‘opening’ for larger acts like F and S (small venues like schoolhouses, etc), primarily in the Cumberland Plateau region in the 1950s.

After I was born, he settled down as a businessman in town, but jammed and performed locally regularly throughout the 60s-early 90s. As a trader of stuff, a variety of musical instruments came through the house as I was beginning to get interested in playing. He took me to see F and S when I was about 6 yrs old and I’ll never forget meeting the band afterwards.

A banjo found it’s way into our house (‘76 Harmony, eagle on the back), and I was hooked.

I never had a lesson, and figured out how to  slow down the 33 LP to 16 1/2 speed and extrapolate the 'octave down' experience.

All that said, dad was very encouraging (“Tune that thang!!”), and I’d no idea how blessed I really was until he passed 25 years ago.

Edited by - AGACNP on 05/23/2022 17:44:56

May 23, 2022 - 6:50:35 PM

304 posts since 2/11/2019

Don't you mean "Birthing Person Facilitator Day"? Sorry couldn't help myself.

My dad was more encouraging of my work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit in business than anything. Musically he would crank Merle, George Jones, Hank, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, Jerry Jeff, Marshall Tucker, etc. on his record player and reel to reel. At the time I was into Kiss and Rush and hated his music. But something changed as I got older and I gravitated back to my dad's old records. Somehow that led me to the banjo. I like bluegrass, but I like country music that incorporates banjo in it more. I'm very lucky to still have my dad.

May 23, 2022 - 7:13:32 PM
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14764 posts since 10/30/2008

My earliest musical memory is from 3 or 4 years old, sitting beside my dad on the couch while he picked on his old Gibson Southern Jumbo. I sat on his right with my ear on the big end of the guitar. Before he discovered bluegrass he and his music friends played old country music: Acuff, Tubb, Carl Smith, Jimmy Dickens, Carter Family, etc. He and my mother had a trove of 78 rpm records the juke box man gave them from the restaurant where my mom worked until 1952.

Somehow in the late 1950s they discovered bluegrass as "old" country music was disappearing. A couple of friends had banjos they tried to pick a little bit. Dad (and Mom) helped me learn to play guitar starting when I was 8. In 1964 Dad bought his first new car and a new Gibson RB 100 -- he wanted to learn so bad. But he couldn't get it and let the banjo lay in the case. I was under orders to NOT TOUCH IT! That of course motivated me to learn it, ESPECIALLY after I saw Flatt & Scruggs live and got my picture taken with Earl. I was quietly supported at each and every turn from that time on. Never pushed, always supported, encouraged, "corrected" when needed, and introduced to every bluegrass musician that turned up in the State of Maine. I was given the RB 100, which I shortly traded for a used RB 250. By 1966 we formed a family band, and I was fully committed. Dad played music in some way probably every week of his life.

Photo by my Mom: Earl talking to Dad at Sunset Park PA Aug 30 1964.


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May 24, 2022 - 2:16:24 PM



11219 posts since 6/5/2011

When he was a young man, my dad had an orchestra [that's what they were called locally] that played for dances in the district. He played fiddle.  I'm pretty sure those days were in the rearview mirror by the time I arrived.... 7th. of 9.  He became an electrician when rural electrification came to our part of the world, and from then on he only occasionally took the fiddle from its nail in the kitchen window frame..... a few times a year dwindling to nothing, as I recall.... though I do remember him playing "There's A Bluebird On Your Windowsill."

May 25, 2022 - 3:48:33 AM
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Paul R


15858 posts since 1/28/2010
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Dad wasn't musical, but he loved music. His father (photo) was, as Dad put it, a "minstrel" who died when Dad was thirteen. He told me that his father had banjos. Shortly after Dad's father died, the family was moving. As he left the house to go to work, Dad saw his father's banjos in the garbage. He stopped, then thought to himself, "I'll never play them," and continued on to work.

Dad bought a bunch of records when we first started listening, including a fair number of classical albums. He loved Mozart, I preferred Beethoven. He once bought me a recorder which made me wonder what he was thinking. At the time I thought either the drums or violin would be my thing. In '66 I bought an electric guitar which quite upset Mom. But Dad offered to buy me an amplifier. I think he was somewhat pleased when I got a banjo - by that time I'd moved to Toronto, so he, with one brief exception, didn't hear me play.

He didn't play anything, but I think his love of music got passed on.


Edited by - Paul R on 05/25/2022 03:49:01

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