Indian Ranch, circa 1972

The Country Gentlemen in 1972: Bill Emerson, Doyle Lawson, Charlie Waller, Bill Yates - ¬© Fred Robbins, used by permissionWe’ve been in touch recently with Fred Robbins, a photographer and bluegrass enthusiast who has posted a brilliant set of photos from the 1972 Country Gentlemen Festival at Indian Ranch online. This was the first such festival hosted by the Gents, held in Webster, MA.

Fred tells us that he just stumbled across the slides after decades sitting in a box, and says that he is delighted to be able to share them with the bluegrass community.

If you enjoyed the Bluegrass Country Soul DVD released in 2006, you are sure to appreciate Fred’s photos, which were taken a year after the festival documented in that DVD. New bluegrass fans will get a kick out of seeing some of today’s premier artists when they were younger, and folks who were following bluegrass in the 1970s will have some powerful memories rekindled.

There are shots of The Country Gentlemen, The Kentucky Gentlemen, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, James Monroe, Bluegrass 45, The McLain Family, Mac Wiseman, IInd Generation and the original Newgrass Revival.

Here are a few images Fred agreed to let us post, but you really need to see them all, put together in a very nice slide show online.

The Kentucky Mountain Boys, 1972 - Larryt Rice, JD Crowe, Tony Rice, Bobby Slone       The New Grass Revival, 1972 - Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, Ebo Walker, Curtis Burch         James Monroe at Indian ranch, 1972 

Fred also has a great many audio and video recordings from bluegrass events posted where they can be seen and heard online.

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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.

  • fivestring

    I think the fellow in the last picture is not Larry Sparks, but James Monroe… look close… am I wrong?

  • mtndas

    These are great shots! I’m disappointed though in looking at them when I realize that Nicky Sanders with Steep Canyon Rangers is the only one out there keeping the sweet early 70s hairstyle alive.

  • Folks,
    I’m a newbie here, but I’m real pleased to be able to share these photos with you.
    I’ll add captions to the full show when time permits.
    Meanwhile, please also help yourself to my other slide shows at http://frobbi.org/slideshows.html
    Most of the bluegrass is at the bottom of the page.