Terry Shue passes

Sandy Hatley and Terry Shue (right)

Terry Shue, North Carolina bluegrass bassist and son of the late banjo picker/luthier, Bob Shue, lost his battle with COVID early on January 18, 2022.

The 65-year-old began his involvement with bluegrass at an early age, playing bass in bands with his dad on banjo and his younger brother, Todd, on mandolin. Configurations of the Shues included bands known first as the Carolina Mountain Boys, then Southern Run, and finally, Southern Junction.

At regional fiddlers’ conventions, Terry often brought home first place in the bass category. His family would take band prizes and was awarded top prize in a talent contest that resulted in TV appearances on the Arthur Smith Show, an iconic Charlotte-based musical television program.

Terry’s first love was his family, then bluegrass, then fishing. His family often hosted big fish fries in their backyard, complete with live bluegrass music.

North Carolina Bluegrass Association president, Vivian Pennington Hopkins, was moved by his passing.

“This breaks my heart. Terry was like family. Our dads played music together before Terry began playing bass. As we grew up, his kids, especially (his daughter) Misty, were in my clogging classes.

Terry was dedicated to taking care of his family and being there for them. He was a loving father and grandfather. 

As a musician, he was one of the best, winning many competitions. Terry will be missed and fondly remembered as one of the best bass players in the region.”

NC festival promoter and emcee, Jeff Branch, agreed. “Terry was one of the best slap bass players around. You could tell he loved his music just watching him on stage.”

“Terry Shue was not only a true master of the bass fiddle, he was a five-time World Champion Bass Player (at Union Grove Fiddlers’ Convention). I can’t think of any other bass player in bluegrass that would take a bass break on every instrumental you played,” stated World Champion mandolinist, Tom Isenhour.

Rick Briggs, longtime friend and former banjoist with the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, shared, “This is really hard, but I guarantee that there’s some serious double-slappin’ going on in heaven right now.”

Terry’s daughter, Misty Shue Hunt, concluded, “2 Timothy 4:8, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’ My daddy was the strongest person I’ve ever known: steadfast and dependable. He fought a good fight and kept his faith. His roots were deep and strong, unwavering in his love for his family. Heaven is sweeter, and the earth is a lot darker without him here. But oh, what a meeting in the air it’s going to be when I see him again! So glad he knew that his name was in the Book of Life!”

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm, January 24, 2022, at Bible Missionary Baptist Church in Rockwell, NC . The funeral service will follow at noon, officiated by the Pastor Cody Zorn and Preacher Zachary Culler. Burial will follow at the West Concord Cemetery in Concord, NC.

Survivors include daughter, Misty Hunt (Michael) of Norwood, NC, son, Michael Shue of Statesville, NC, 6 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, brother, Todd Shue, brother, Tim Shue, sister, Janie Shue, aunt, Eloise Almond, aunt, Wilma Shue, nieces, Bethany Moffit and Courtney Blalock whom he loved like daughters, and his beloved sidekick Peanut, the Chorkie. 

Memorial dontions may be made to Bible Missionary Baptist Church, 11360 Old Concord Road, Rockwell, NC 28138.

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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.