Author Archive: Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.

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Judith McCulloh remembered 

| February 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

Another personality whose death we missed initially is that of Judith McCulloh. A pivotal figure in the fields of folklore and ethnomusicology, Judith McCulloh passed away on July 13 (2014). She had been fighting cancer for many years. Employed as an editor at the University […]


Having a Coffee with …..  Wayne Taylor

| February 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
Wayne Taylor - photo by Ted Lehmann

Blue Highway’s Wayne Taylor started playing guitar when he was 13. Due to some health problems he spent a couple years in a wheelchair. Taylor had a cousin who played and he showed him a couple chords and he took it from there. After recovering […]


Monroe Fields with Carl Sauceman and the Green Valley Boys 

| February 12, 2015 | 1 Comment

Bluegrass enthusiasts of a certain preference and/or of a certain age will be familiar with the name Monroe Fields. His musicianship has been compared with such excellent side-men as Joe Stuart, Paul Warren, Curly Lambert, George Shuffler, Ralph Mayo, Ernest Ferguson, Claude Boone and Bobby […]


The Bluegrass Hall of Fame – Inductee Biographies 1991-2014

| February 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

Every year since 1991 the IBMA initiates the induction of deserving personnel into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame (first called the Hall of Honor). The Hall of Fame is situated in the Owensboro, Kentucky-based International Bluegrass Music Museum and to complement the Hall […]


Dixie Hall Remembered

| February 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

Dixie Hall passed away on January 16 (2015). She had been ill for much of the previous year. She was born in Birmingham Maternity Hospital on May, 26, 1934, and lived for a while in the Birmingham district of Erdington before she and her family […]


Bill Yates remembered

| January 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

Robert Billy ‘Bill’ Yates Sr., who passed away on January 26, 2015, was born on April 30, 1936, in Big Rock, Virginia. He learned an appreciation for music from his family as they worked on the farm, sang in church or listened to the Saturday […]


Julia Mainer passes 

| January 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

Julia Mainer, wife and long-time musical partner of old-time country music artist  the late Wade Mainer, passed away on January 21, 2015, aged 95. She had sustained fatal injuries in a fall a few days earlier. Julia Mae Brown Mainer was born on March 13, […]


Ray Hicks passes

| January 15, 2015 | 1 Comment

Ozarks’ bluegrass DJ and MC Ray Hicks passed away yesterday, Wednesday, January 14, 2015. He was 68 years old. Born August 11, 1946, from Rolla, Missouri, Hicks was troubled by poor health in his later years, suffering a stroke in the spring of 2011, thus […]


Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick Sing the Songs of Vern & Ray

| January 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

Hard-core bluegrass duo Vern Williams and Ray Park, from Arkansas, were a tremendous influence on bluegrass music in California. Ever since meeting in 1959 they brought the sounds of the Ozarks to the west coast playing concert and dance halls, radio and television. They played […]


Ernest Ferguson remembered

| December 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

A death that we have only recently learned of is that of Ernest Ferguson, mandolin player with the Bailes Brothers. Ernest Charlton Ferguson (96) passed away in his sleep on the morning of October 19, 2014. He had been in declining health the past few years […]