Vernon Derrick RIP

Vernon Derrick 1933-2007Veteran fiddle and mandolin player Vernon Derrick passed away on Friday morning (1/4) at the age of 74.

He performed with both The Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin during the 1960s after gaining some exposure during a brief stint with Flatt & Scruggs. A memorable contribution to the bluegrass repertoire is his instrumental Arab Bounce, originally recorded by Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys in 1970, and re-cut dozens of times by other artists since.

Country music came calling as well, and Vernon spent time with artists as varied as Lefty Frizzell, Merle Travis and George Morgan to Hank Williams, Jr. It was with Hank Jr. that Derrick saw his greatest prominence, playing fiddle on #1 hits All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down and Country Boy Can Survive.

Vernon had been in poor health this past few years, and suffered from both renal and congestive heart failure. He underwent surgery in December and though he came home briefly after Christmas, he was hospitalized again earlier in the week.

Funeral arrangements can be found on The Arab Tribune web site, which also published a comprehensive overview of Vernon Derrick’s career some time ago.

Another pioneer lost…

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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.