I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #118

From October 1, 2010 through to the end of September 2011, we will, each day, celebrate the life of Bill Monroe by sharing information about him and those people who are associated with his life and music career. This information will include births and deaths; recording sessions; single, LP and CD release dates; and other interesting tidbits. Richard F. Thompson is responsible for the research and compilation of this information. We invite readers to share any tidbits, photos or memories you would like us to include.

  • January 26, 1937 Ted Lundy was born in Galax, Virginia. Lundy, playing the banjo, did a fill-in job with the Blue Grass Boys during 1959.
  • January 26, 1948 Single released – Shine Hallelujah, Shine / I’m Travelling On And On (Columbia 38078, 78rpm , 20402), featuring the Blue Grass Quartet; Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs and Howard Watts (Cedric Rainwater).
  • January 26, 1952 Douglas Michael ‘Doug’ Hutchens was born in Stuart, Virginia.  *
  • January 26, 1983 Recording session –  During an afternoon session at Burns Station Sound, 211 East College St., Burns, Tennessee, Bill Monroe and Waylon Jennings recorded With Body and Soul for the LP Bill Monroe and Friends, released on January 12, 1984. The duo were assisted by Wayne Lewis and Gary Scruggs [both playing guitar], Blake Williams [banjo], Mark Hembree [bass], and Kenny Baker and Buddy Spicher [both playing the fiddle]. The producer was Walter Haynes.
  • January 26, 2009 Enos Johnson died of a stroke in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He was 80 years old.  **

* The regular bass player at that time, Hutchens, occasionally played the banjo in a three or four month spell starting in June 1971.

He remained close to Bill Monroe after leaving the band, organizing several birthday tributes to him.

A graduate of Morehead State University, Kentucky, and Eastern Kentuck Richmond, Kentucky, Hutchens is an instructor in Technical Education in Stokes, North Carolina.

Hutchens was the Morning Man at WHEO Radio, Stuart, Virginia, and, between October 1987 and May 1993, he was a consultant at Gibson with re-designing the banjo line as part of his duties.

** Johnson was one of several guitarists who played in the Blue Grass Boys during 1957. Born in east Tennessee, he learned to play both guitar and mandolin.

While working on radio for grocery store entrepreneur Cas Walker on WCRK in Morristown, Tennessee, Johnson met Jimmy Martin, and the two of them formed a duet. They left WCRK and went north to WPFB in Middletown, Ohio, where they worked with Smokey Ward.

He and Martin split up and Johnson started working with Sonny Osborne and Carlos Brock at WPFB. He was part of Sonny Osborne’s band, playing mandolin and doing quite a bit of the lead singing, when they recorded for Kentucky and Gateway Records in Cincinnati.

The band eventually moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, but Johnson quit because he had a family and needed the security of a day job.

In the 1970s, he entertained tourists in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with Jack Grooms and the Smoky Mountain Travelers. He was owner of Johnson’s Upholstery, a business that he ran since 1970, in Gatlinburg, when he passed away.

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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.