Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia and at a young age began traveling around locally singing to help support her family. A member of a band she was in suggested that she change her name so she decided to use her middle name, becoming known as Patsy Cline. Patsy's young career hit a turning point in 1957 when she landed a spot on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts show. Patsy moved to Nashville to properly pursue her career in 1959. In the early 1960s, Patsy enjoyed great success on the country and pop charts. She made a way for herself in a predominately male world, and in doing so, paved the way for many of the female artists that followed her. She is considered one of country music's greatest vocalists and after her death in 1963 has received too numerous awards to be listed. Her Greatest Hits album sold over 10 million copies worldwide and spent more than 700 weeks on the Billboard charts.
Kenny Baker was born into a long line of old-time fiddlers on July 26, 1926 in Letcher County, Kentucky. He began playing the fiddle around age seven. During WWII he joined the United States Navy, returning home to Jenkins, Kentucky to work in the mines after his naval stint. During this time he was married and raised a family while playing music on weekends. He became Don Gibson's fiddler in 1953 and a Bluegrass Boy for the first time in 1957. In December of that year he made his first recordings with Bill Monroe's band. Later he returned to Monroe's band but left again in 1984 becoming the longest-tenured Bluegrass Boy. He recorded numerous albums during his lifetime and with his “long-bow” style, became a positive influence for younger fiddlers who wanted to follow in his footsteps. Kenny Baker ended his performing career in August 2008 and passed away on July 8, 2011 following a stroke.
John Carson was born near Fannin County, Georgia in 1868. He learned to play the fiddle at a young age and began performing in the streets for tips. In 1914, while working in a textile mill, workers of the mill went on strike. During the strike he began playing and selling songs in the streets of North Atlanta. On April 1, 1913, Carson performed at the first annual "Georgia Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention" coming in fourth. Over the years he was considered “Champion Fiddler of George” seven times and acquired the “Fiddlin’” part of his name by the governor of Tennessee. In September 1922, Carson made his radio debut at the Atlanta Journal radio station WSB and in June 1923, Carson made his recording debut in an empty building on Nassau Street in Atlanta. He cut two sides to the record, "The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" and "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Going To Crow." This record is considered to be the first country song recorded with vocals and lyrics. Carson recorded almost 150 songs between 1923 and 1931. He wrote more than 150 songs in his life, but only nine were ever copyrighted.
In the spring of 1966, a group of Washington, D.C. area bluegrass fans came together for a very important meeting. They met to discuss producing a newsletter to keep the bluegrass faithful in the area up-to-date on band appearances. The group decided to include articles and record reviews and Bluegrass Unlimited, Volume 1, Number 1, a nine-page edition was published in July 1966. The newsletter’s first cover was a picture honoring Carter Stanley who had passed away that same year. By 1977 the magazine evolved from the stapled-in-the-corner mimeograph form to an offset press production. Today the magazine has a circulation of 12,000, has moved into the electronic age, and considered the foremost magazine for bluegrass music.
Bill Clifton was born William Marburg in Riverwood, Maryland, and at an early age became fascinated by country music. While in college he adopted the stage name of Bill Clifton and with friends formed a trio called the Dixie Mountain Boys. In 1955 he published a songbook, 150 Old-Time Folk and Gospel Songs, which circulated widely among bluegrass musicians. He began recording and released five albums during the late 1950s and early ‘60s. On July 4, 1961, Clifton organized an outdoor "Bluegrass Day" concert at Oak Leaf Park in Luray, VA. This all-day event featuring several top bluegrass acts and is considered the first bluegrass festival. In 1963 he and his family relocated to England and in 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and moved to the Philippines. Throughout this time he continued to write songs and perform in Europe, New Zealand and the US. In 1972, he played his first bluegrass festival circuit in the US and eventually returned to America. Clifton continued to perform at bluegrass festivals and concerts into the 1990s. BMI credits him with 111 published compositions, co-compositions, and arrangements.