Dan Kelly passes

We have learned this morning of the sudden passing Wednesday night of Dan Kelly, fiddler, prominent Nashvillian, and member of the popular act, Tennessee Mafia Jug Band.

Details are few at this point, but we have this statement issued by the band a short time ago…

Dan Kenneth Kelly, long time fiddler with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band passed away last night from a heart attack. Words can’t accurately describe the shock, sadness and sense of loss we’re all feeling right now. Dan loved playing music and played everyday. His joy was watching the many students he’d teach and show how to play the fiddle. It was something near and dear to his heart. Keep his family in your thoughts and definitely send up a prayer for his sweet wife, Cheryl, to give her strength through the coming days. We’ll meet again on far side bank of Jordan.

Howard Harris with the Grand Master Fiddler Championship shared this memory of Dan…

“Dan won the Grand Master Fiddler Championship in 1983, besting one the great fiddlers of all time Jim ‘Texas Shorty’ Chancellor. Dan was a Smokey Mountain Boy joining Roy Acuff after moving to Nashville from Pennsylvania, and was regular in Opryland U.S.A. for many years.

I’ll miss hearing him play Doc Harris Hornpipe.

Dan was a fine man, husband, father, and friend.”

We will update with additional information as it is available.

R.I.P., Dan Kelly.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.