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The Classic Country Gentlemen and Their Vivid Memories

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One of the pioneer bands in the Bluegrass scene is The Country Gentlemen; they began their musical career on July 4, 1957, and they come from Washington, DC. The original members of the band were Charlie Waller; he used to play the guitar and sing. Then we have John Duffey; who was in charge of the mandolin and tenor vocal. The third member was Bill Emerson, who played the banjo and Larry Lahey who was in charge of the bass.

As in any band, there were some changes; they became a more solid and permanent group, with Waller, Duffey, Eddie Adcock (banjo) and Tom Gray (bass). They contributed to the success of the band and they earned the title of the “classic” Country Gentlemen. They belong to the first generation of what is known as folk music, which restoration facilitated them to include not only traditional songs and sounds, but also a stronger definition of the bluegrass genre. Due to their array of musical pieces, they became very popular and they caught the attention of many bluegrass devotees.

They signed a contract with Starday Records, and they released a bunch of singles and one album, which they called Traveling Dobro Blues. Then they decided to change to Folkways; in this case, they produced three albums and the most successful of these was called Country Songs Old & New. By 1963, the Country Gentlemen moved again to Mercury, and this time their album’s name was Folk Session Inside. During the sixties and seventies, this band continued to renew its integrants, and they evolved into one of the most recognized bluegrass bands in America. Therefore, the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame inducted Charlie Waller, Eddie Adcock, John Duffey, and Tom Gray in 1996.

As its founder, Charlie Waller’s foremost dream was the maintenance of the band, referring to the classical idea and the initiative of his son Randy; he kept the promise of working hard on this new project, and fortunately, all efforts are being done to release Charlie’s latest CD, where he played the guitar and sang.

We encourage you to visit the web sites devoted to the Country Gentlemen.

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