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Sep 28, 2022 - 5:36:59 PM
1823 posts since 8/30/2012

9/29/1975 - Earl Scruggs suffers head injuries, facial cuts, a broken nose and broken ankle when the plane he is piloting crashes while landing in East Nashville.

I never knew that he was a pilot, too.

What other unique/unknown side hobbies, jobs, or careers did our favorite banjo players have?

Sep 28, 2022 - 5:45:21 PM
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2158 posts since 11/17/2018

Ben Eldridge was a mathematician.

Bobby Thompson was a machinist.

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 09/28/2022 17:48:01

Sep 28, 2022 - 6:41:34 PM
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banjoy

USA

10600 posts since 7/1/2006

John Starling never gave up his day job as an otolaryngological physician (head doctor). Bluegrass was his hobby, not his career.

Sep 28, 2022 - 7:08:54 PM

14995 posts since 10/30/2008

Earl had an earlier plane crash also, as I remember.

Sep 28, 2022 - 7:21:47 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26468 posts since 6/25/2005

Howie Bursen is a winemaker; Art Rosenbaum was an art professor.

Sep 28, 2022 - 8:02:52 PM
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71 posts since 12/2/2020

most banjo players i know are rich old retired renaissance men and also tend to take banjo as a bucket list hobby, along with a second language and beekeeping. its a pretty high correlation of pilots and banjo players i find compared to other instruments. something about the instrument appeals to renaissance men. I don't know why. but the fact so much money flows around this niche market of only a few thousand active enthusiast most years says something.

the banjo is far from buck toothed and slack jawed

Sep 28, 2022 - 8:45:11 PM
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13688 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

John Starling never gave up his day job as an otolaryngological physician (head doctor). Bluegrass was his hobby, not his career.


The entire original Seldom Scene had full-time day jobs that were not playing music. Mike Auldridge was a graphic artist with the Washington Star newspaper, and became a full-time musician when the paper folded in 1981. Bassist Tom Gray was a cartographer at National Geographic. As an instrument repairman, John Duffey was the only one earning his living in a music-related trade.

Sep 28, 2022 - 8:50:05 PM
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RB3

USA

1484 posts since 4/12/2004
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Steve Martin is a comedian, actor, writer and art collector. Marshall Brickman, who played both banjo and guitar on the seminal, "New Dimensions In Banjo And Bluegrass" album is a screenwriter who collaborated with Woody Allen (Sleeper, Annie Hall, Manhattan).

Sep 28, 2022 - 9:28:24 PM
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RB3

USA

1484 posts since 4/12/2004
Online Now

I believe that Alison Brown was an investment banker. Pete Wernick has a PHD in Sociology and Pete Seeger was once a Communist.

Sep 28, 2022 - 9:31:52 PM
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2018 posts since 5/19/2018

If I had a dollar for every Traditional or Bluegrass banjo player who I have met over the years that was either a Lawyer, Surgeon, Engineer, Nuclear Physicist or had a Doctorate Degree in Mathematics or some obscure impossible science...well...I could buy another vintage banjo...a really good one.

Let me add to that, any professional level banjo players that I have ever met who was not holding a higher degree, if they were a machinist, carpenter, electrician or other wise, they were all at the absolute top of their game and very well respected in their chosen trade.

For some reason, playing music on a high level seems to attract people who really enjoy a good amount of mental challenge and are disciplined enough to follow the difficult process to expertise. Banjos in particular attract those who revel in the obscure and difficult.

If Earl S grew up in a different area or circumstances, I’m pretty sure no matter what path he took in life, he would have been a great success....and a lot of us here might of wound up playing oboe, accordion or whatever type of music that would have filled the void of Bluegrass.

Sep 28, 2022 - 9:41:41 PM

4657 posts since 5/29/2011

Allen Shelton was a pipe fitter.
J. D. Crowe worked as a mail man.

Sep 28, 2022 - 10:33:10 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26468 posts since 6/25/2005

For someone like Scruggs or Ralph Stanley, the choice was often mining, mill or music. Not surprising that playing music professionally had an appeal. Bill Emerson played music with Country Current for the twenty years needed to draw retirement, something not afforded by playing in various bluegrass bands. Alan Munde had a career teaching at a community college. Hailey Stiltner, who many remember on BHO, is the present Country Current banjo player, and looks likely to stay in the Navy. As the Country Gazette album had it: “Don’t Give Up Your Day Job.”

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 09/28/2022 22:34:48

Sep 29, 2022 - 4:05:31 AM

Greg Denton

Canada

90 posts since 10/5/2014

Going in the other direction. Jackson Pollock was a banjo player!
si.edu/object/saam_1976.65.8

Sep 29, 2022 - 5:43 AM

heavy5

USA

2477 posts since 11/3/2016

Eddie Adcock was a boxer

Sep 29, 2022 - 7:23:01 AM
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3869 posts since 7/12/2006

His knowledge as a pilot inspired the name Groundspeed for that tune
quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

9/29/1975 - Earl Scruggs suffers head injuries, facial cuts, a broken nose and broken ankle when the plane he is piloting crashes while landing in East Nashville.

I never knew that he was a pilot, too.


 


Edited by - stanleytone on 09/29/2022 07:26:16

Sep 29, 2022 - 7:32:50 AM

1092 posts since 12/12/2005

Earl loved talking about flying. He started in the 1950's. I remember him talking about his Cessna. One of the funniest stories was when his Revue needed a bigger plane for touring. He looked at a DC-3 and it was too small for all the band gear to fit. Of course, his banjo tune Groundspeed was inspired by his flying. He even gave me a lesson how to fly and double clutch the old tour bus one time sitting on the edge of his sofa.

Sep 29, 2022 - 7:40:31 AM
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3012 posts since 1/16/2013

During a live "bootleg" recording, Lester refers to Earl as "Sky King".....

Sep 29, 2022 - 8:05:11 AM
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1488 posts since 10/5/2006

Cornelia Fort Airpark Sep 29, 1975

Musician Earl Scruggs was injured in a night landing of his single-engine plane at the airpark. He was flying solo in his 1974 Cessna Skyhawk II (N5047R) returning from a musical performance in Murray, Kentucky around midnight on September 29, 1975. On his approach descent he encountered fog and overshot the runway. The plane flipped over, but the ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) device in the airplane did not trigger. Scruggs remained unattended with a broken ankle, nose, and other injuries for about five hours.[12] Fearing a possible fire, Scruggs was able to crawl about 150 feet from the plane despite his injuries. His family was driving back from the concert in Kentucky and was unaware of the accident, but a niece became worried, called police about 4 AM and went to the airpark where they heard his cry for help near the wreckage. Scruggs recovered from his injuries.


A remarkable but little known fact is that the September 1974 FLYING magazine featured THIS VERY AIRCRAFT (5047R) in a multipage article “How they build the indispensable Skyhawk” beginning on page 62. The article tells the whole story with photos of the birth of Earl’s plane.

https://books.google.com/books?id=BLEusG1WVg8C&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=N5047R&source=bl&ots=RmMlT2kzvz&sig=ACfU3U1XgEiQ42N_w8zqpq6b9u2HA8iIkw&hl=en&ppis=_c&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj7pOTAgZ_mAhXQo1kKHSMUAEEQ6AEwA3oECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=N5047R&f=false

Edited by - Oldtwanger on 09/29/2022 08:07:40

Sep 29, 2022 - 8:09:35 AM
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1488 posts since 10/5/2006

NTSB Identification: IAD76FKW12
14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N5047R

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 FILE    DATE          LOCATION          AIRCRAFT DATA       INJURIES       FLIGHT                        PILOT DATA
                                                               F  S M/N     PURPOSE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-3289  75/9/29    NASHVILLE,TN        CESSNA 172M         CR-  0  1  0  NONCOMMERCIAL             PRIVATE, AGE 51, 1259
        TIME - 0030                    N5047R              PX-  0  0  0  BUSINESS                  TOTAL HOURS, 45 IN TYPE,
                                       DAMAGE-SUBSTANTIAL  OT-  0  0  0                            INSTRUMENT RATED.
        NAME OF AIRPORT - CORNELIA FORT
        DEPARTURE POINT             INTENDED DESTINATION
          MURRAY,KY                   NASHVILLE,TN
        TYPE OF ACCIDENT                                         PHASE OF OPERATION
           COLLISION WITH GROUND/WATER: CONTROLLED                  LANDING: FINAL APPROACH
        PROBABLE CAUSE(S)
           PILOT IN COMMAND - CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT INTO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS
        FACTOR(S)
           WEATHER - FOG
        WEATHER BRIEFING - BRIEFING RECEIVED-METHOD UNKNOWN
        WEATHER FORECAST - UNKNOWN/NOT REPORTED
        SKY CONDITION                                            CEILING AT ACCIDENT SITE
          CLEAR                                                    UNLIMITED
        VISIBILITY AT ACCIDENT SITE                              PRECIPITATION AT ACCIDENT SITE
          5 OR OVER(UNLIMITED)                                     NONE
        OBSTRUCTIONS TO VISION AT ACCIDENT SITE                  TEMPERATURE-F
          NONE                                                      55
        WIND DIRECTION-DEGREES                                   WIND VELOCITY-KNOTS
          150                                                       4
        TYPE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS                               TYPE OF FLIGHT PLAN
          VFR                                                      NONE
        REMARKS- ARPT LOCATED ON BEND OF RIVER.GROUND FOG PATCHES

Sep 29, 2022 - 8:15:23 AM

492 posts since 7/28/2016

I just saw a documentary on Netflix about the anthrax poisonings back after 9/11.
It seems that the guy they are pretty sure was responsible (committed suicide) also
played the banjo !

Sep 29, 2022 - 9:25:49 AM

leehar

USA

160 posts since 2/18/2018

Hate to even mention this one but Jake Jenkins, formerly with Karl Shiflett, was a pilot. He died in a plane crash a few years ago. He was a terrific guy. I asked him one time to show me how he played his song I Know What it Means to be Lonesome. He sat me down, handed me his banjo, and taught me how to play it! I couldn’t believe it.

Sep 29, 2022 - 2:59:13 PM

3142 posts since 2/10/2013

The tune "Ground Speed" resulted from his flying activity.

Sep 29, 2022 - 3:07:51 PM
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3142 posts since 2/10/2013

Years back while I was playing banjo and a guy came up andstarted a conversation. Eventually he asked me what my occupation was. I told him I was a computer programmer. He tnen said it seemed as though every banjo player he met was a computer programmer.

I have not met many banjoists who made banjo playing lifetime professional career.

Sep 30, 2022 - 12:24:23 AM
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3869 posts since 7/12/2006

While we are talking about jobs well known banjo players have had, this banjo player worked as a sheet metal shipyard worker for over 45 years and retired in August. Prior to that i did termite work and construction labor.
Would be interesting to hear from the rest of you on this

Sep 30, 2022 - 3:01:44 AM
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AGACNP

USA

361 posts since 10/12/2011

quote:
Originally posted by stanleytone

While we are talking about jobs well known banjo players have had, this banjo player worked as a sheet metal shipyard worker for over 45 years and retired in August. Prior to that i did termite work and construction labor.
Would be interesting to hear from the rest of you on this


Gary,

This banjo player has been in health care since 1977, wearing many hats: respiratory therapist, registered nurse, and cardiology nurse practitioner.

Continuing the above discussion: Steve Huber is a great banjo picker, and also a mechanical engineer who builds great banjos.

Sep 30, 2022 - 7:25:07 AM

13511 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by RB3

Steve Martin is a comedian, actor, writer and art collector. Marshall Brickman, who played both banjo and guitar on the seminal, "New Dimensions In Banjo And Bluegrass" album is a screenwriter who collaborated with Woody Allen (Sleeper, Annie Hall, Manhattan).


Are you sure about Steve Martin?

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