Jim Smoak on RBI

Seminal first generation banjo player Jim Smoak will be this weekend’s guest on Best Of Bluegrass, hosted by Bob Mitchell.

The show is broadcast on Radio Bluegrass International (RBI), an online radio service of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. Look for Best Of Bluegrass on Friday morning from 9:00-11:00 a.m. (EDT), and again on Sunday from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Bob shared a few words to jog the memories of old timers, and younger fans who may not be aware of Jim’s contributions to our music.

“Bill Monroe asked Jim to join the Blue Grass Boys in 1952. It’s Jim’s banjo you have heard on Monroe’s classic recordings of Close By and My Little Georgia Rose. Smoak also worked with Arthur Smith (replacing Don Reno who formed a band with Red Smiley). From 1957 through 1960 Jim played banjo with Hylo Brown and the Timberliners (Earl Scruggs had recommended Jim for the job), and in 1960 he moved to Baton Rouge and formed his own band, The Louisiana Honeydrippers.

As a songwriter, his songs have been covered by the New Grass Revival, J.D. Crowe and the Dixie Chicks. Song titles include This Heart of Mine, You Can Share my Blanket, Cold Sailor and Colly Davis.”

This is a guy with some stories to tell!

To listen, visit the IBMM web site, and click on the RBI logo on the upper left. It should be a fascinating discussion.

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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.