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Thread: Bill Emerson RIP

  1. #1
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bill Emerson RIP

    After hearing this news I just had to listen to Home of the Red Fox Rebel Records REB-1651 released in1987. Not only one of the best banjo albums ever recorded but a really great lineup of artists that make it one of the best instrumental albums ever. Tony Rice / guitar, Jimmy Gaudreau / mandolin, Mark Shatz /bass, Jerry Douglas / dobro, and Jim Buchanan / fiddle. And some of Bill Emerson's great tunes like Theme Time, Sweet Dixie, Cowboys and Indians, and the title cut Home of the Red Fox. Not a bad cut on the album.
    I have it on vinyl. Don't know if was ever released on CD.
    Sure seems like we're losing some great musicians lately.
    Ratliff R5 2007, Capek A5 2003, Washburn M5S-SB Jethro Burns 1982, Mid-Mo M-2, Epiphone MM 30 Bk mandolins, Harmony Batwing 1970's, George Bauer bowlback early 1900's Philadelphia.


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  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Emerson RIP

    One of the greats, played banjo with so many important bands: Red Allen & the Kentuckians, Country Gentlemen, Emerson & Waldron, Buzz Busby & the Bayou Boys, Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys, plus recording with Tony Rice, Pete Goble, etc. Spent decades as a Navy officer fronting their Country Current ensemble; I just saw Country Current as part of the July 4th Boston Pops concert from Tanglewood, and thought of the years Emerson played with them.

    One by one, the musicians my contemporaries and I listened to, as we learned to appreciate bluegrass music, pass from the scene. Jesse McReynolds and Bobby Osborne remain, Del McCoury, J D Crowe, "Little Roy" Lewis, a few more. Luckily, we can hear all of them, preserved forever in audio and video recordings. But their actual presence is deeply missed.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Default Re: Bill Emerson RIP

    He is my all-time favorite banjo player. He truly understood that songs (with vocals) weren't all about the banjo. He really knew where
    to place tasteful licks to make a song better - to fill in the gaps where they needed to be. He also understood all of the singing parts
    and what it took to blend in with the lead singer. I learned quite a bit from him (as I am sure the rest of you did as well) and he will be
    missed greatly. RIP Mr. Emerson.
    ManjoMan

  5. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Emerson RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by ManjoMan View Post
    ...I learned quite a bit from him (as I am sure the rest of you did as well) and he will be
    missed greatly. RIP Mr. Emerson.
    I've actually jammed with him. Seeing and hearing him play up close was quite a learning experience for me! I also learned quite a bit about banjo set up from him. I never met another player who knew what he wanted and how to get it from an instrument as much as Bill.
    He was a great guy and I'm sorry he is gone.

  6. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Emerson RIP

    I was reminded, by a former Cafe member, of the anecdote about Emerson: he was playing one of the music bars around DC (Red Fox Inn?), when a couple got up to dance to the music. Bill stopped playing and said, "If I play, you don't dance; if you dance, I don't play," or words to that effect. The couple, who were celebrating their engagement, took offense, and a confrontation ensued. The next week when Bill returned to play, he was shot and wounded in the bar's parking lot. The shooter was never ID'ed, but there was suspicion that it was an extension of the earlier fight.

    Apparently, Bill's wife laid down the law about his continuing to play the bar scene, and strongly influenced him to take up the arrangement with the Navy, where he stayed for around 20 years. I think many of us are unaware of the rough places bluegrass used to be played. I spent four college years in Cambridge, and never got to Hillbilly Ranch in Boston where the Lilly Brothers, with Don Stover and Tex Logan, played many a night. My bad, but like many college kids, I was deterred by the tough reputation of the country music bars.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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