(November 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016)

Guy Charles Clark (November 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016) was a Grammy Award winning American Texas country and folk singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, and performer. He has released more than twenty albums, and his songs have been recorded by other artists including Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, and Rodney Crowell. Guy Clark won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album: My Favorite Picture Of You.

Clark was born in Monahans, Texas, and eventually settled in Nashville, where he helped create the progressive country and outlaw country genres. His songs "L.A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting for a Train" that helped launch his career were covered by numerous performers. The New York Timesdescribed him as "a king of the Texas troubadours", declaring his body of work "was as indelible as that of anyone working in the Americana idiom in the last decades of the 20th century."



(May 17, 1948)

DICK GAUGHAN (May 17, 1948, Glasgow) is a Scottish musician, singer, and songwriter, particularly of folk and social protest songs.

Gaughan took up the guitar at the age of seven. Although he later sang in Scottish Gaelic, he is not fluent in that language; he does, however, have a powerful command of Scots. Gaughan sang in Edinburgh folk clubs and became a professional musician in 1970, playing mainly traditional songs on an acoustic guitar. He now writes his own songs as well as performing those of others. Although his approach to performing focuses on the words to the songs, Gaughan is also known as a master of the acoustic guitar. An example of his purely instrumental work is Coppers and Brass (1977).

Gaughan has many and various influences. In his guitar playing one can detect the influence of Doc Watson, Davy Graham and Bert Jansch, but he also claims to have been influenced by musicians as diverse as Hank Williams and Seán Ó Riada. His songs have been recorded by Billy Bragg, Mary Black, Jessica Haines & Mark Kaiser and Capercaillie amongst many others. He has also recorded extensively as a session musician.

Gaughan's interest in composition and orchestration has led to two orchestral commissions from the prestigious Celtic Connections festival: Timewaves (Lovesong to a People's Music) in 2004 and, in 2007, his first symphonic work, Treaty 300, a musical examination of the effects of the Treaty of Union of 1707 on Scottish culture composed for the inaugural concert of the Celtic Connections Youth Orchestra.



(May 16, 1901 – 1982)

BIRCH MONROE (May 16, 1901 – 1982) was a notable early bluegrass fiddler, bassist, founding member of the Monroe brothers, and older brother to Bill Monroe. Birch, along with his brother Charlie left the Monroe family farm in Rosine, Kentucky in the 1920s to work in the booming northern factories of the time. When Bill joined them in 1929 they were working in East Chicago at the Sinclair Oil refinery. There, the brothers played local venues and dances. Birch, with his brothers played on WAE in Hammond and also performed weekly on WJKS in Gary. In 1932, Birch, Charlie, and Bill, along with a friend, Larry Moore, were hired as exhibition square dancers for the national barn dance radio program, broadcast from Chicago. In 1934, Birch chose the stability of working at the refinery to support his sisters while Charlie and Bill went on to perform on KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa.

Birch later joined Bill in 1946 on a recording session in Chicago; a session that included Earl Scruggs. Birch sang bass on the gospel number "Wicked Path of Sin." Birch would play bass on tour with Bill after Howard Watts left the band. Birch Monroe was also manager, in the early 1960s, of Bill Monroe's country music park, the Brown County Jamboree, in Bean Blossom, Indiana.


(May 6, 1903 – April 5, 1983)

CLIFF CARLISLE (May 6, 1903 – April 5, 1983) was an American country and blues singer. Carlisle was a yodeler and was a pioneer in the use of the Hawaiian steel guitar in country music. He was a brother of country music star Bill Carlisle.

Carlisle was born in Taylorsville, Kentucky and began performing locally with cousin Lillian Truax at age 16. Truax's marriage put an end to the group, and Carlisle began playing with Wilber Ball, a guitarist and tenor harmonizer. The two toured frequently around the U.S. playing vaudeville and circus venues in the 1920s.

Carlisle and Ball first played at Louisville, Kentucky radio station WHAS-AM in 1930, which made them local stars, and later that year they recorded forGennett Records and Champion Records. In 1931, they recorded with Jimmie Rodgers. Toward the end of 1931, Carlisle signed with ARC and was offered performance slots on several radio stations, including WBT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina, WLS-AM in Chicago and WLW-AM in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cliff's brother Bill Carlisle became his guitarist after Ball left in 1934. During the 1930s Carlisle, who recorded a large amount of material despite a hiatus from 1934 to 1936, frequently released songs with sexual connotations including barnyard metaphors (which became something of a hallmark).

Carlisle toured with his son, "Sonny Boy Tommy," to occasional consternation from authorities in areas where this contravened local child labor laws. He continued to perform on WMPS-AM in Memphis, Tennessee for several years in the 1940s, but by the 1950s had retired from music. In the 1960s, The Rooftop Singers covered his tune "Tom Cat Blues"; in its wake, Carlisle and Ball did a few reunion shows together and recorded for Rem Records. On April 2, 1983, Carlisle died at the age of 79 in Lexington, Kentucky. [WikiPedia]


May 12-14 2016


May 12-14 2016

Check out Roland Sturm's column on Seattle's Canote Brothers.

Check out David Bragger's column for more detail about the Old Time Social Workshops and more...


(May 2, 1924 – July 21, 2015)

THEODORE MEIR BIKEL (May 2, 1924 – July 21, 2015) was an Austrian-American Jewish actor, folk singer, musician, composer, and activist.

He made his stage debut in Tevye the Milkman in Tel Aviv, Israel, when he was in his teens. He later studied acting at Britain's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his London stage debut in 1948 and in New York in 1955. He was also a widely recognized and recorded folk singer and guitarist. In 1959 he co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and created the role of Captain von Trapp opposite Mary Martin as Maria in the original Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music. In 1969 Bikel began acting and singing on stage as Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, a role he performed more often than any other actor to date. The production won nine Tony Awards and was one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history.

Bikel was president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and was president of Actors' Equity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Partners for Progressive Israel,[3] where he also lectured.


(April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972)

REVEREND GARY DAVIS, also Blind Gary Davis (April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972), was an African-American bluesand gospel singer and guitarist, who was also proficient on the banjo, guitar and harmonica. His fingerpicking guitar style influenced many other artists. His students include Stefan Grossman, David Bromberg, Roy Book Binder, Larry Johnson, Nick Katzman, Dave Van Ronk, Rory Block, Ernie Hawkins, Larry Campbell, Bob Weir,Woody Mann, and Tom Winslow. He influenced Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Wizz Jones, Jorma Kaukonen, Keb' Mo', Ollabelle, Resurrection Band, and John Sebastian (of the Lovin' Spoonful).

The folk revival of the 1960s invigorated Davis's career. He performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded his version of "Samson and Delilah", also known as "If I Had My Way", a song by Blind Willie Johnson, which Davis had popularized. "Samson and Delilah" was also covered and credited to Davis by the Grateful Dead on the album Terrapin Station. Eric Von Schmidt credited Davis with three-quarters of Schmidt's "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down", covered by Bob Dylan on his debut album for Columbia. Blues Hall of Fame singer and harmonica player Darrell Mansfield has recorded several of Davis's songs. [ WikiPedia ]


(c. April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939)

"MA" RAINEY (born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett; c. April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues.

She began performing as a young teenager (between the ages of 12 and 14), and performed under the name Ma Rainey after she and Will Rainey were married in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own group called Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. From the time of her first recording in 1923 to five years later, Ma Rainey made over 100 recordings, including "Bo-weevil Blues" (1923), "Moonshine Blues" (1923), "See See Rider Blues" (1924), "Black Bottom" (1927), and "Soon This Morning" (1927).

Ma Rainey was known for her very powerful vocal abilities, energetic disposition, majestic phrasing, and a ‘moaning’ style of singing. Her powerful voice was never adequately captured on her records, due to her recording exclusively for Paramount, which was at the time known for its below-average recording techniques and poor shellac quality. However, Rainey's other qualities are present and most evident in her early recordings, "Bo-weevil Blues" and "Moonshine Blues".

Rainey recorded with Louis Armstrong in addition to touring and recording with the Georgia Jazz Band. She continued to tour until 1935 when she retired to her hometown.


(April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011)

WADE ECHARD MAINER (April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011) was an American country singer and banjoist. With his band, the Sons of the Mountaineers, he is credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and is sometimes called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass." In addition, he innovated a two-finger banjo fingerpicking style, which was a precursor to modern three-finger bluegrass styles.

Originally from North Carolina, Mainer's main influences came from the mountain music of his family. In a career that began in 1934 and spanned almost six decades, Mainer transitioned from being a member of his brother's band into the founder of his own ensemble, the Sons of the Mountaineers, with whom he performed until 1953, when he became more deeply involved with his Christianity and left the music industry. After working at a General Motors factory and attending gospel revivals, Mainer was convinced that he should restart his career as a Christian gospel musician and began to tour with his wife in this capacity. He continued to release albums until 1993.