Roland White honored in Nashville

Dave Pomeroy, Jeff Syracuse, Roland White, Paul Schiminger, and Diane Bouska at the Metropolitan Council

Roland White was honored this week by the Metropolitan Council, the governing authority of the greater metro region of Nashville and Davidson County, TN. He was recognized for his many achievements in bluegrass music with a special resolution, introduced by Council member Jeff Syracuse.

The Resolution was read in council and presented to Roland on Tuesday, May 15.

The text reads…

Resolution No. RS2018-1117

A resolution recognizing the renowned Roland White, a pioneer and legendary bluegrass mandolin player.

WHEREAS, at an early age, Roland White, along with his siblings Clarence, Eric, and Joanne formed a bluegrass band that performed locally in their native Maine. When the family moved to California the boys won a talent show on local radio, as The Country Boys, landing them regular work in clubs, radio and television around Los Angeles, including The Andy Griffith Show; and

WHEREAS after Roland’s two year US Army enlistment, the group was renamed The Kentucky Colonels and toured the United States, electrifying audiences with their virtuosic playing and singing. In 1964 they made a landmark instrumental album, Appalachian Swing. In 1967 Roland began a stint as guitar player with the Blue Grass Boys, the band of his mentor Bill Monroe. In 1969 he joined Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, staying until 1973, when he, Clarence and Eric reunited as The Kentucky Colonels. The reunion was short-lived, due to the tragic accidental death of his brother Clarence. Roland then began a thirteen-year tenure with progressive west coat group, Country Gazette, playing guitar and then mandolin. In 1989 Roland joined the Nashville Bluegrass Band, who distinguished themselves as the premiere bluegrass band of their generation, winning two Grammy Awards and Grammy nominations on all of their albums; and

WHEREAS, in 2000 Roland formed The Roland White Band, and learned a Grammy nomination for their first recording, Jelly On My Tofu. Roland has been honored for his unique style, achievements, and contributions to bluegrass music including being part of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s Oral History Collection in 1993, as an inductee into the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America in 2010, and was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2017. 2018 marks Roland’s 80th birthday and he has no plans to retire. Roland and his band continue to perform, record and teach around the world; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognize Roland White a frontiersman of bluegrass, and commend him for his many successes in the area; as a musician and educator and wish him continued success as he keeps on picking.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing and congratulating Roland White as he is inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame and for his tremendous contribution to the history of bluegrass music.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Mr. Roland White.

Section 3. The Resolution will take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Introduced by: Jeff Syracuse, Member of Council

Congratulations, and well done Roland White!

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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.