David "Stringbean" Akeman

(banjo - 7/1942-9/1945)
Publicity photo circa 1944. Click for full version.

Born: 6/17/1914    Died: 11/10/1973

As a Blue Grass Boy: Monroe's first banjo player, Akeman played in an old-time clawhammer style, as well as two-finger picking. He also performed comedy skits with "Cousin Wilbur" Wesbrooks. He played on one session as a Blue Grass Boy, recording eight tracks in February 1945.

Recording Sessions: 2/13/1945

Before and After: Akeman left the band in the fall of 1945 to form a comedy duet with Lew Childre. They appeared regularly on the Grand Old Opry. Stringbean was later a regular on the TV show "Hee Haw". He and his wife were killed by burglars in their home in 1973.

Links: Brief bio and photos from the Find A Grave site
Wikipedia entry