Don’t Give Up Your Day Job – a Quiz

Sinclair Oil signFrom the very beginning playing bluegrass music has been a very 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 in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys; George Shuffler was more often otherwise employed than he was the bass player for the Stanley Brothers during the 1950s; and the Stanley brothers themselves worked at a Ford Motor Company factory for several months in 1953.

For many current grassers, the situation remains the same. Other than a few of the very top acts, there’s a good chance your favorite bluegrass artists have a “day job” to help ends meets, sometimes chosen with their second career in mind.

Here’s a quiz using five musicians from the early days of bluegrass through to the present. Do you know what they do/did during the week?

So, what is/was the day job for the following bluegrass musicians?

  1.  Joe Val
  2. Art Stamper
  3. Shannon Slaughter
  4. Hamish Davidson
  5. John Duffey


The first person to provide the correct answer in all five cases will win a free Bluegrass Today t-shirt and cap.

Simply provide your answers in the comments below. You’ll need to be registered and logged in, but registration is free and fast.

Test your bluegrass knowledge!

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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.