Another leading light of the first generation of bluegrass artists has passed. George Shuffler, long time member of both The Stanley Brothers and Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, passed away earlier today (4/7/14), just short of his 89th birthday.
Shuffler’s distinctive crosspicking guitar style, now a staple in bluegrass music, combined the melodic approach of Maybelle Carter and the 3-finger banjo roll into something unique and special, which will forever be tied to his name.
George was a gregarious and affable man, beloved by fans and musicians alike. He had been in failing health for several months, but his family had requested privacy in that regard.
Here he is discussing his guitar style with James Alan Shelton, current Clinch Mountain Boys guitarist and serious student of the Shuffler style, and sharing an example or two. The video is excerpted from Shelton’s guitar instructional DVD released several years ago.
We expect to learn details about funeral arrangements later today, and will post them as soon as they are announced. There will also be further coverage of this great man’s life and career forthcoming at Bluegrass Today.
Farewell George Shuffler.