Saying ‘See you later’ to Terry Baucom

Wayne Winkle, Joe Hannabach, Clint Coker, Mike Hartgrove, Alan Bibey, Kevin Baucom, Jamie Dailey, and Darin Vincent, pallbearers and speakers at Terry Baucom’s graveside service (12/13/23) – photo by Sandy Hatley

Wednesday afternoon, the Duke of Drive, Terry Baucom, was laid to rest in the same cemetery as his dad at Antioch Baptist Church in rural Union County, NC, north of Monroe where he was raised. A large crowd which included family, friends, and fans assembled at the graveside to pay their final respects to the influential second generation banjoist.

His cousin and fellow musician, Kevin Baucom, opened with prayer, stating what the entire bluegrass community feels, “Heavenly Father, we come to you, collectively, with broken hearts and wounded spirits…” He was followed by Jamie Dailey, singing an a cappella version of Farther Along, and Darin Vincent sharing several scripture verses, including Philippians 1:21: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Spokespersons, sharing memories of Bauc, included former New Quicksilver/Blueridge band mate, Alan Bibey, and Quicksilver alum, Jamie Dailey.

Bibey began…

“Terry was a superhero to me. He played in the band, Boone Creek, and they were my favorite band ever, and still are. They were cool. That was a common theme with Terry. He was just always cool.

I remember the first time that I ever got to play with him. It was an all-night jam backstage at Denton. I was playing with Terry and two great fiddle players, JB Prince and Joe Greene. He told me how great these fiddle players were and I was thinking, ‘Man, I’m playing with Terry Baucom! How cool is this!’

Years later I played in New Quicksilver with him. Terry took me under his wing and without even meaning to, was kind of a mentor to me. He turned me on to all kinds of great music and players. 

I’ve never seen anyone work a microphone like he did. It was like Fred Astaire playing the banjo; the way he weaved in and out.

He was the funniest human ‘on the planet.’ That’s a Terryism right there. As long as I live, he’ll be my hero, my friend, and my brother…until we see each other again, T.”

Then Dailey & Vincent sang one of Cindy and Terry favorites, On the Other Side.

Jamie then reflected on the time when Bauc returned to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver a second time for nearly a five year stint.

“We got to travel the world together. One of the funniest things I remember was being out in Colorado. There was a horrible snow storm and you couldn’t even see the road. Terry was sitting up front with me and I was driving about 25 mph. Out of nowhere, here comes Doyle and blows right past us in the other SUV. Terry said, ‘Man, Dilly (he called me Dilly), Doyle just blew our face off.’

We got there about an hour and half later than Doyle and Tug (Terry’s nickname for Darren Beachley). When we walked in, Tug was just sitting there just white. Terry walked up and said, ‘Man, Tug, it looks like you have got scream in your eyes.'”

Dailey also shared a memory from getting caught in a thunderstorm at a bluegrass festival.

“Terry said, ‘Man, we’re fixing to get our face blown off.’ People were running everywhere and like always, Bauc had his Birkenstocks on. We were running for the bus and half way there, he kicked one of those Birkenstocks and it went forever. We got on the bus and he said, ‘Man, Dilly, I just threw my Birk 16 miles.'”

He went on to talk about Baucom’s frequent recognition of his placement of his capo on the fourth fret (key of B) and saying, “This is my address. This is where I live.”

Jamie bragged on his fallen friend’s power of picking. “Nobody in this business that I’ve worked with and I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best, nobody had a right hand like Terry.”

The service concluded with Jamie leading those assembled in the singing of Amazing Grace, with a closing prayer by Terry’s nephew, Clay Mitchell.

Pallbearers were Bauc’s former band mates Alan Bibey, Mike Hartgrove, Clint Coker, Joe Hannabach, and Wayne Winkle along with his cousin, Kevin Baucom. 

Once the service ended, no one seemed in a hurry to leave. Bluegrass family lingered to console one another, visit with Cindy, and share more Bauc stories. Honored guests included Greg Deering of Deering Banjos in California (an endorsee of Terry, which offers a Terry Baucom model), plus numerous banjo pickers such as Ben Greene, Jim Fraley, Trent Callicutt, Randy Smith, Randy Mauldin, Peden Williams, Lynn Green, and Sandra Baucom. Also present was Terry’s distant cousin and former Blue Grass Boy, Bill Simpson, whose mentoring Terry has credited as the turning point in his young banjo playing (see Banjo NewsLetter, May 2011).

Preceded in death by his father, Lloyd Baucom, and sister, Lynn Little, Terry is survived by his mother, Wilma Hinson Baucom; wife, Cindy Baucom; stepsons, Houston and Hunter Norris; stepdaughter, Molly Norris; grandson, Kayden Harris; and sister, Trina Mitchell.

Memorials may be made to the Terry Baucom Bluegrass Scholarship Fund in care of:

First National Bank
1318 North Bridge Street
Elkin, NC 28621

71-year-old Terry Baucom, was recipient of the 2023 IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award, 2023 Steve Martin Banjo Award, and was a Blue Ridge Hall of Fame member. He will always be remembered not only as a powerhouse banjo picker with a signature style demonstrated in his Lower on the Hog lick, and his hard-driving instrumental, Knee Deep in Bluegrass, but also as a founding member of such ground-breaking groups as Boone Creek, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and IIIrd Tyme Out, and most importantly, as a kind-hearted man with a gentle soul and quick wit – “a really cool guy.”

We love you, Cindy. The bluegrass community is here for you.

RIP, Terry. We look forward to seeing you on the other side.

Editor’s note: The day before, a Celebration of Life was held at The Reeves Theater in Elkin, NC, where Terry and Cindy had lived for years.

The ceremony included performances from The Kruger Brothers, Terry’s fellow original Quicksilver members, and Blue Highway, plus remembrances from Joey Lemons, his bandmate in The Dukes of Drive, and inspirational remarks from Rev. Karen Roberts.

The entire service was recorded and streamed live online. If you missed it, you can see it on Facebook.

Here is one snippet, of Doyle Lawson, Jimmy Haley, and Lou Reid singing one they recorded with Bauc, along with a few words from Doyle.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.