Bill Grant & Delia Bell – In England (1980)

FrontCover1Bill Grant and Delia Bell are a bluegrass music duo from Oklahoma. Emmylou Harris has said of Delia Bell: “If Hank Williams and Kitty Wells had married and had a daughter, she would have sounded like Delia Bell.” Grant has been recognized as “Ambassador of Bluegrass Music” by three Oklahoma

Delia Bell was born Delia Nowell on 16 April 16, 1938 in Bonham, Texas. Bell moved to Hugo as a child. She started playing music with her sisters and brother as a child, and began singing in her teens. She married Bobby Bell in 1959.

Bill Grant was born Billy Joe Grant on May 9, 1930, a Choctaw tribal member, and grew up on a ranch near Hugo, Oklahoma. Inspired by the music of Bill Monroe, he took up mandolin.

In 1959, Bell began singing with Bobby’s friend Bill Grant. Bell accompanied herself on guitar, and Bill Grant played mandolin, and Bell sang tenor to Grant’s lead. In 1960, Bell and Grant were regulars on the Little Dixie Hayride radio show on KIHN radio.

When Bill Monroe heard them perform, he invited them to perform at his festivals in Bean Blossom, Indiana. This introduced the duo to a wider audience.

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In the late 1960s, Grant and Bell formed the Kiamichi Mountain Boys (also known as the Bonham Brothers), named after the Kiamichi Mountains near their home.

They recorded more than a dozen albums for their own label Kiamichi Records as well as albums on County Records, Rebel Records, Rounder Records, and Warner Brothers. They toured England and Ireland 11 times during the 1970s.

The Kiamichi Mountain Boys were disbanded in 1980. After that, Grant and Bell worked either worked with the Johnson Mountain Boys or as a mandolin/guitar duo.

Emmylou Harris picked up Bell’s solo album Bluer Than Midnight at a California record shop. Impressed by Bell’s version of Ruth Franks’ song “Roses In The Snow,” Harris recorded it as the title track of her 1980 bluegrass album. In 1982, Harris produced Bell’s self-titled solo album on Warner Bros. Records. One of the songs, “Flame in My Heart,” was a duet with John Anderson. The album reached #35 on the Billboard charts, but Warner Bros. dropped her and others artists from their roster.

During the 1980s, Bell and Grant recorded three albums for Rounder featuring accompaniment and harmonies by members of the Johnson Mountain Boys and Del McCoury. The 1989 album Dreaming collected songs from their Rounder albums.

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Bell and Grant continued to perform as a duo until 2006 when their partnership ended. Grant was diagnosed with a brain tumor which was successfully removed, and he recovered succeefully. In 2007, Grant would began singing on a limited basis with his stepdaughter Amy Patrick.

In 2006, Grant received the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement award.

Grant and Bell have each been recognized as a Pioneer of Bluegrass Music by the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Grant was also inducted in to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

From 1969 until 2003, Grant hosted Grant’s Bluegrass Festival on a 360-acre cattle ranch near Hugo. He named the festival site “Salt Creek Park.”

In 1987, Bell and Grant also launched a March Early Bird Bluegrass Show, which was staged annually for almost 20 years (by wikipedia)

And here´s a fine example of their music. Great Bluesgrass and Country Music … full with a lot of sentimental tunes, including a Sundown In Nashville  …

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Personnel:
Delia Bell (guitar, vocals)
Karl Benson (bass)
Bill Grant (vocals, mandolin)
Dave Nutt (guitar, steel-guitar)
Bob Pearce (drums, percussion)
Dave Sheriff (piano, harmonica, guitar)
Drew Taylor (fiddle.mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. I Know You’re Married 2.28
02. Blue Kentucky Girl 2.38
03. Good Hearted Woman 3.44
04. Troubles 3.03
05. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke 2.33
06. You Win Again 2.22
07. Best Female Actress 2.21
08. When My Time Comes To Go  1.46
09. Crazy Arms 2.24
10. Nothing Can Blow Out The Flame 2.26
11. Stranger In My Home 2.26
12. Don’t Worry 3.17
13. Come Walk With Me 2.34
14. Sundown In Nashville 2.32
15. We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds 2.10
16. I Know The Time Is Near For Me 2.35

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Jim & Jesse & The Virginia Boys – Bluesgrass Special (1963)

FrontCover1Jim & Jesse were an American bluegrass music duo composed of brothers Jim McReynolds (February 13, 1927 – December 31, 2002) and Jesse McReynolds (born July 9, 1929). The two were born and raised in Carfax, a community near Coeburn, Virginia. Their grandfather, Charles McReynolds had led the band “The Bull Mountain Moonshiners”, who recorded at the famous Bristol Sessions in 1927.

Jesse played the mandolin with a unique, self-invented “crosspicking”and “split-string” playing method, and Jim sang as a high tenor and played guitar. They played with their backing band, The Virginia Boys, consisting of five-string banjo, fiddle and bass. The Virginia Boys have included a who’s who of famous musicians such as famed fiddler Vassar Clements, banjo great Allen Shelton, fiddle great Jimmy Buchanan, Carl Jackson, Glen Duncan, Jesse’s oldest son, the late Keith McReynolds, Randall Franks and many more.

Since the death of brother Jim, Jesse has gone on with their famous Virginia Boys band. He has continued in the bluegrass music tradition and has added other genres of music to his repertoire. His present show includes Chuck Berry songs, and he has just completed a tribute to Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter (of the Grateful Dead) released October 5, 2010, on Woodstock Records. It features Jerry’s friends David Nelson and Sandy Rothman, along with Stu Allen, of the present Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band. The album is titled: “Jesse McReynolds & Friends Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter ~ Songs of the Grateful Dead.”

Jesse’s present band lineup includes Keith’s son, Garrett McReynolds as tenor singer/rhythm guitarist. Garrett’s older sister Amanda sings third part harmony. Sometimes Jesse grabs the historic fiddle his grandfather played on the Bristol Sessions, and lets grandson Luke McKnight do the crosspicking that Jesse invented & made famous. Rounding out the group is Travis Wetzel on fiddle and Gary Reece on banjo. This musical tradition continues on, entertaining fans all over the world.

FirstAppearenceIn 1952, Jim & Jesse were signed to their first major label, Capitol Records. They have also recorded for Columbia Records, Epic Records and Opryland USA. They also released under their own Old Dominion record label. In 1960, their first single for Columbia, “The Flame of Love” backed by “Gosh I Miss You All The Time” spent weeks climbing the top 100 national charts. Their other classic songs include “Cotton Mill Man”, “Diesel On My Tail”, “Are You Missing Me”, and “Paradise”.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Jim and Jesse starred on the live radio show, the Suwannee River Jamboree, broadcast on Saturday nights from Live Oak, Florida on WNER radio. The show was also syndicated throughout the Southeastern United States. The brothers replaced the Stanley Brothers on the show. They left when Martha White began using the duo as a sponsor.

On March 2, 1964, they were invited to join the Grand Ole Opry after making several appearances as guest performers, and they moved to Gallatin, Tennessee later that year.

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Jim & Jesse in 1965

Their numerous honors include induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Walkway of Stars”, the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Honor, and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Individually and collectively they were nominated for several Grammy Awards. They also received the National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, presented by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jane Alexander at The White House on September 23, 1997.

Jim and Jesse joined producers Randall Franks and Alan Autry for the In the Heat of the Night (TV Series) cast CD “Christmas Time’s A Comin’” performing “Christmas Time’s A Comin'” with the cast on the CD released on Sonlite and MGM/UA for one of the most popular Christmas releases of 1991 and 1992 with Southern retailers. Jesse also added his mandolin talents to a vocal performance of “Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella” by the late TV legend Carroll O’Connor.

In 2004, Jesse was honored with a nomination by the International Bluegrass Music Association for his project, “Bending the Rules” as Instrumental Recording of the Year.

Jesse continues to perform at numerous folk festivals representing the traditional arts and some of his new styles.
A record setting career for the duo ends

In 2002, both brothers were diagnosed with different types of cancer. Jesse’s battle was successful, but Jim’s was not. He died in 2002, ending the longest active professional brother duet in country music history – 55 years.

Jesse has carried on the Jim & Jesse tradition and continues to play all over the world with his band, as well as being a guest with other groups. He has a venue in Gallatin, TN called “The Pick Inn” where he and his wife, Joy, operate a wedding business. Jesse & Joy plan to have music concerts at the Pick Inn, presenting different types of music, including the music that made Jim & Jesse famous. (by wikipedia)

This was their first album for Epic Records and many consider this album of one of the finest Bluegrass Music ever recorded. Indeed … this one is a classic !

Personnel:
Jim Buchanan (violin)
Don McHan (guitar, background vocals)
Jesse Reynolds (mandolin)
Jim Reynolds (guitar, vocals)
Allen Shelton (banjo)
David Sutherland (bass)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes (Helms) 1.58
02. Somebody Loves You, Darling (W.Morris/Z.Morris) 2.24
03. She Left Me Standing On The Mountain (Delmore) 2.09
04. Don’t Say Goodbye If You Love Me (Davis/Dodd) 2.45
05. I Wish You Knew (C.Louvin/I.Louvin) 2. 23
06. When It’s Time For The Whippoorwill To Sing (DElmore) 2.22
07. Grave In The Valley (McHan) 3.12
08. Blue Bonnet Lane (Walker) 2.08
09. Are You Missing Me (Louvin) 2.17
10. Congratulations, Anyway! (Jim McReynolds/Jesse McReynolds) 2.15
11. Pickin’ And A-Grinnin’ (Howard) 2.22
12. Stoney Creek (Jim McReynolds/Jesse McReynolds) 1.53

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