GoFundMe campaign set up for Mike Lilly, now in hospice care

Wendy Miller, Mike Lilly, and Larry Sparks

Innovative banjo picker Mike Lilly, who has been battling ill-health – specifically a form of leukemia and cirrhosis of the liver – for several years, was moved into hospice care on February 4 (2020).

His son, Norm, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover imminent expenses, and to enable him to give his father “a proper burial” and “to make sure he has a proper headstone.”

Donations can be made online using a major credit card or PayPal.

Mike Lilly has played with Larry Sparks; the Country Gentlemen; had musical partnerships with Wendy Miller, and Harley Allen; before fronting his own band, Mike Lilly and the Country Grass.

Writing in Banjo Newsletter (January 2015), Greg Cahill of Special Consensus said ….

“His own unique style encompasses the chordal work of Don Reno, the drive of Earl Scruggs and the jazzy ideas of Eddie Adcock and Sonny Osborne, but it is clearly the Mike Lilly style of banjo playing.”

This tribute was specially compiled by illustrator and banjo player Jeff Preston, with help from Takehiko Saiki, who provided the audio clip of Mike Lilly performing Me and My Old Banjo   

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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.