Red Allen book to be published shortly

Fans of Red Allen’s music will be delighted to learn that there is to be a book published about him shortly. Author, Dennis Satterlee’s book, Teardrops In My Eyes – The Music Of Harley “Red” Allen, is scheduled to be made available in November, published by The Plucked String Foundation Inc. Press.

The book is expected to have about 220 pages and comprises a biographical study of Red Allen’s musical career and a detailed discography; with recording dates, musicians, vocal parts, studios, producers where available, album numbers, single numbers and EP numbers.

It is anticipated that the 8 x 10 format paperback will have between 20 and 30 black and white photographs that are, for the most part, from private sources and never before seen.

Satterlee, who has played bluegrass and brother-duet style music in various parts of the States, is originally from western New York State and worked for the federal government for almost 30 years. His work has taken him to Louisiana, Vermont, New Jersey and now, retired, he lives in South Carolina, and plays bluegrass in a Georgia band. Here he provides some background information that led him to write his book ……

“I started listening to bluegrass music in the early 1960s. Mostly Flatt and Scruggs and the Dillards because that’s all I could find in the record stores. My first Red album was the Folkways album with Frank Wakefield. It just struck me as something that fit between the smooth crooning of Lester Flatt and the more urgent styling of Bill Monroe. Red (and Frank) seemed to be a perfect combination for bluegrass. When I retired (1997) I started looking for Red’s albums and singles that I didn’t have in my collection. Someone told me about the Red Head’s recording (see my article in Bluegrass Unlimited, April, 2006). I called both Red Spurlock and Frank Wakefield to learn more about that recording session and they told wonderful stories. It occurred to me at that point that maybe I could put together a discography (which I was doing for myself anyway) and add some stories from the musicians who played on the sessions and do a book. Over 50 musicians, family members and friends have added stories and remembrances to this work.”

The book, of which there will a first print run of 500 copies, is expected to retail at $25. Plans to determine through what outlets it will be sold have yet to be finalized. Watch this space!

Satterlee, who is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Hall Of Honor in Owensboro, Kentucky, is donating his royalties from this book to the museum.

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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.