Aubrey Holt Update

Aubrey Holt (Photo courtesy of Tom Feller)Aubrey Holt is, without a doubt, one of the greatest songwriters in the history of bluegrass music. That is an undeniable fact.

Aubrey rose to prominence alongside his brothers, Tom and Jerry Holt; his uncle, Harley Gabbard; and friends, Paul “Moon” Mullins and Noah Crase as The Boys From Indiana. The Boys From Indiana were one of the premiere festival acts of the seventies and eighties due to their energetic stage shows, tight harmonies, and Aubrey’s original songs. Atlanta Is Burning, arguably the band’s most enduring hit, has become a bluegrass standard.

Aubrey’s songs have been recorded by the likes of Blue Highway, The Grascals, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Vince Gill, Rhonda Vincent, Feller & Hill, and more. Below is just a small sampling of the Aubrey’s songwriting credits.

  • Atlanta Is Burning
  • Feeling Blue
  • Good Time Blues
  • Headin’ South
  • Here Comes Polly
  • Hey Baby
  • My Night To Howl
  • Sad Wind Sighs
  • We Missed You In Church Last Sunday
  • When The Warden Turns The Key
  • You Can Mark It Down

After a very successful run, The Boys From Indiana retired in the nineties. However, Aubrey’s son, Tony Holt continues the band’s style of bluegrass with his own band, Tony Holt & The Wildwood Valley Boys. Aubrey had been traveling with The Wildwood Valley Boys for the past several years, until health complications earlier this year forced him to retire full time. Aubrey’s health issues have included congestive heart failure and kidney problems, resulting in a mound of medical bills.

Aubrey Holt Benefit at Turfy Park (Photo courtesy of AllenHowever, our bluegrass community came through in a BIG way to help Aubrey this past weekend. The Bluegrass Benefit for Aubrey Holt was this past Sunday, August 9th, at Turfway Park in Florence, KY. The all-star benefit for this bluegrass legend featured Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, The Grascals, Michael Cleveland & Friends, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Feller & Hill, and The Wildwood Valley Boys all celebrating the music of Aubrey Holt in an effort to raise money to help with medical expenses.

The best news is, Aubrey was able to attend! Aubrey is doing better and is in good spirits. His nephew, Tom Feller of Feller & Hill, passed along this update after the benefit.

Terri Hudson, winner of the Nichols Road guitar donated by Bruce Clark (Photo courtesy of Tom Feller)The show was an overwhelming success! The helpful staff and the beautiful weather added to that success. The event raised $10,600 on Sunday. Aubrey’s wife informed me that they have also received more that $3,500 in private donations and the Give Forward campaign has received over $1,300, at last glance. It will remain open for donations until the beginning of September. Aubrey and Thelma both had tears of joy when I presented them the earnings, and they asked me to thank as many people as I could for all the donations and support in their time of need. Special thanks once again to all the artists who generously donated their time and efforts. We were blessed with a first class lineup, and we are so thankful for such a wonderful day. Terri Hudson was the winner of the Nichols Road guitar donated by Bruce Clark and the raffle raised $1200 towards the cause

Wonderful news! Thanks to all who came out to support Aubrey Holt, proving that, once again, the bluegrass community is the most supportive and most generous in the entertainment industry.

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About the Author

Daniel Mullins

Daniel is from southwestern Ohio and has been around bluegrass his entire life. He manages the Classic Country Connection, a music store in southern Ohio which specializes in bluegrass, classic country, gospel, and Americana music. He is the host of the Bending The Strings radio program, which plays a variety of bluegrass, newgrass, and Americana music. He also maintains the website for Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers. photo by LuAnn Adams