Don Lineberger passes

Left-handed banjo player Don Gray Lineberger died during the evening of  Sunday, December 5, due to smoke inhalation and exposure to heat after being pulled from a fire at his home in Valdosta. He was 71 years old.

He died as emergency-medical personnel attempted to revive him on the way to the South Georgia Medical Center.

Fire fighters, who are still investigating the cause of the fire that started in home’s foyer, a speculating that could be due to an electrical fault.

Lineberger, who was born in Tennessee on January 25, 1939, was a member of the Blue Grass Boys for a time in 1965.  He was involved in one recording session while working for Bill Monroe, that on March 16 1965, recording The Long Black Veil, I Live In The Past and There’s an Old, Old House.

Later, he worked for country star Glen Campbell; he was part of the house band on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and comedian Steve Martin.

A neat chromatic banjo player and a long-time friend of Bobby Thompson, Lineberger played an RB-150 banjo fitted with a left-orientated neck.

Long retired, most neighbors knew Don Lineberger as a quiet man who kept to himself.

Fellow Blue Grass Boy Doug Hutchens posted this to Lineberger’s memory page  ………………….

Don was warm, genuine fellow and a real trouper. Our friendship came from our association with Bill Monroe.

We would talk on the phone periodically and he would write every now and then,  I always loved to get letters from Don. He would literally cover all the pages, the envelope and even throw in a bit or two of other paper and a photo or recording or two each time.

I got the news of Don’s passing from a mutual friend from England which is very fitting….as he touched all that experienced him and his enthusiasm knew no bounds.

His work on Earth is done, but in those he touched his spirit will live on in the glit and glimmer of their eyes.

From a very Sad Doug Hutchens, but so proud to say Don Lineberger was a friend.

Here is a clip of Lineberger playing Blue Grass Breakdown. The other Blue Grass Boys are Gene Lowinger [fiddle], Peter Rowan [guitar], and James Monroe [bass].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MQCKH24Koo

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About the Author

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.