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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Keith Little – Band Leader 

| March 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Keith Little, much acclaimed singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer who has recorded and toured with the likes of Rose Maddox, California bluegrass pioneer Vern Williams, Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Chieftains, David Grisman and Peter Rowan, has graduated to leading his own […]

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Don’t Give Up Your Day Job #2

| March 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
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A Quiz ….. From the very beginning playing bluegrass music has been a particularly precarious job, even for the very, very talented. Bill Monroe worked at Sinclair Oil in the 1930s; Kenny Baker often went back to the coal mines even though he was a mainstay […]

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The bluegrass band that keeps on giving

| March 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Ocotillo Rain and Thunder Bluegrass Band, the southern Arizona bluegrass band that keeps on giving, has chosen Susan G Komen as their charity for March. The Ocotillo Rain and Thunder Bluegrass Band, named in part for the beautiful Ocotillo flowering plant that is prevalent in […]

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Arthur Robinson passes 

| March 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Arthur St Clair Robinson, one of British bluegrass music’s true high-lonesome vocalists, passed away on Friday, March 6, 2015. He suffered a seizure at the beginning of February and was hospitalized for a while before being moved to St. Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough, Yorkshire, where […]

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Wade Jessen passes

| March 6, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Wade Ray Jessen, the head of several of Billboard magazine’s charts, including the bluegrass music chart, passed away in the early hours of March 5, 2015, due to a massive heart-attack. The 53-year-old media veteran and country music champion was being treated in Summit Medical […]

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Larry Sparks – 50 years of bluegrass music

| March 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Larry Sparks is noted for his unique soulful, bluesy style of bluegrass that from a distance appears to be effortless. But clearly, there is no doubt that he works hard to keep his audience entertained. His voice and guitar could not be better matched, bluesy […]

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The Music of the Stanley Brothers – Gary B Reid

| March 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
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I have to declare upfront that I had a peek at an early draft of this book. Also, over the years (from about 1981), I have watched Reid gather together the building materials that have gone towards the writing of The Music of the Stanley Brothers.  […]

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The Story behind the Song – Church in the Wildwood  

| February 26, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Church in the Wildwood isn’t a recently written song. It was actually composed in 1857 by a young music teacher named William S Pitts as a result of a June visit to Bradford, Iowa. Pitts was on a stagecoach ride that stopped at the town. […]

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Bluegrass in Baltimore – The Hard Drivin’ Sound and Its Legacy

| February 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
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The area including Baltimore, Washington D.C. and surrounding region, Maryland and northern Virginia, is noted for a power-packed style of bluegrass music, notably in the 1940s and 1950s, although it is often the style of choice even today. During that era there was an influx […]

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Judith McCulloh remembered 

| February 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
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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 […]

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