Surely one of the most influential bluegrass groups of the 1970s was Lost & Found, based in Ferrum, VA. They toured all across the US and Canada, and had remained active up until a few years ago when founding bassist and vocalist Allen Mills had to step aside owing to health concerns.
Over those intervening years, the band saw a number of personnel changes on more than a dozen recordings, though the nucleus of Mills and mandolinist Dempsey Young remained intact until Young’s tragic death in 2006. Guitarist/singers during that time included a number of now familiar names, like Ronnie Bowman, Shannon Slaughter, Berry Berrier, and Scottie Sparks, and banjo players Ben Greene, Jody King, Ronald Smith, and Lynwood Lunsford.
We had shared the news not long ago that a Lost & Found studio recording from ten years ago had recently surfaced, with songs recorded at Mountain Fever Records studio, but never released. The label is making these tracks available now, along with some other previously unreleased songs, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the group’s debut in 1973.
Today we have a vintage cut of a classic country number, Dolly Parton’s Put It Off Until Tomorrow, a real tearjerker that Dolly had written with her uncle, Bill Owens. It had been a hit several times on the country charts, including the original cut by Bill Phillips in 1966, and later by The Kendalls in 1980. Ricky Skaggs also had a memorable rendition on his Sweet Temptation album, his initial foray into a commercial country sound.
The Lost & Found cut has Scottie Sparks on guitar and lead vocal, Dempsey Young on mandolin, Ronald Smith on banjo, and Allen Mills on bass.
Allen recalls how they decided to record this song.
“I remember Scotty singing it one day while we were rehearsing on stage. We eventually recorded it and had it mixed years ago, but it was never released. It’s a good cut, and I think it came off really well. There’s some great instrumentation.”
It’s a great look at a venerable bluegrass act at a peak in their career. Check it out…