Glen Duncan recovering from a stroke

Popular Nashville fiddler, songwriter, and producer Glen Duncan is recovering from a series of strokes suffered on December 20. He is hospitalized at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where his improvement over the past several days has been described by family and friends as a Christmas miracle.

Duncan, 68, was driving when the stroke occurred, so he is also recuperating from injuries sustained in the resulting accident.

The stroke hit at 9:26 a.m. on the 20th, and Glen was taken to Vanderbilt where he was in the Critical Care Unit until surgery was performed that evening to relieve some blockages. A number of additional strokes were detected while in the CCU.

Bluegrass fans have watched almost all of Glen’s life, as he has been involved in the music for most of it. He started out learning steel guitar at only seven years old, quickly branched out to guitar, and upon hearing Earl Scruggs play Foggy Mountain Breakdown, was drawn to the banjo. Piano followed, and in his teens, Duncan got involved with the rock ‘n’ roll scene.

But when he heard Kenny Baker and Vassar Clements, the fiddle won out over all, and Glen has dedicated his career ever since to bowmanship. After a few years doing studio work in Cincinnati, he moved to Nashville where he has worked in sessions for most everyone in town, both bluegrass and country. Notable names include Bill Monroe, Doyle Lawson, The Osborne Brothers, Josh Graves, Merle Haggard, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn, among many, many others.

Together with Larry Cordle, he served as a founding member of Lonesome Standard Time, and has been a notable member of Rock Hearts and Longview as well. In recent years he has been deeply involved with recordings for the Engelhardt Music Group label, as a performer and writer.

A statement has just been released by Glen and his family regarding his remarkable recovery.

“First and foremost, Glen, Marsha, and Brady would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for all of the support and very intentional prayer since Glen’s hospitalization. It’s working.

Glen has been moved from CCU to ICU, he is able to keep his eyes open, he is very alert, and is regaining movement on his left side that was affected by the stroke. They are hopeful that his feeding tube will be removed later today. Physical therapy began today, and the therapist had Glen working out to the Shania Twain music that he played on. The team of doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been amazing, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts!

Mentally, he’s all Glen. Complete with his unique humor, his legendary Bill Monroe impressions, he is already dictating new songs he’s writing to Marsha from his hospital bed. The music just keeps flowing, and he is wanting to play his instruments again.

Glen has received many visitors, some with instruments, and phone calls, from industry friends like Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless, Byron Hill, Jerry Salley, Bob Minner, Eddie Sanders, Scott Vestal, Deanie Richardson, Terry and LuAnn Smith, Terry Eldredge, Larry Cordle, Joe Mullins, Michelle and Logan Beard, Teri Cox, and all the ladies from The Salon. Special thanks to John and Barbara Walker for their support, Lt. General Dennis Cavin and Father and Son, Tim and Dalton Clark, who were the first at the scene of the vehicle accident, and to Dennis Money, who gave Marsha a much needed reprieve to go home for a break from the hospital on Monday.

The Duncan’s are so humbled by the outpouring of love and prayer from the music community. Glen’s spirits were high today and he wanted everyone to know ‘how wonderful it is to be a part of this bluegrass family.'”

Given the early reports, this is wonderful news. We hope to hear more soon about Glen’s further recovery and return to work.

Get well soon!

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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.