Del McCoury

(guitar, banjo - 2/1963-2/1964)
Photo by Jim Peva. Click for full version.

Born: 2/1/1939

As a Blue Grass Boy: McCoury filled in with Monroe as a banjo player for a few shows in the Northeast in early February of 1963. Monroe offered him a permanent job, but by the time McCoury got to Nashville, Monroe had hired Bill Keith. Monroe convinced McCoury to switch to guitar and sing lead. He stayed with Monroe for about a year. He and Billy Baker moved to California in February 1964 to join the Golden State Boys. After leaving the band, he filled in for a show or two on banjo.

Recording Sessions: 1/28/1964

Before and After: McCoury stayed in California for only a few months before returning to Pennsylvania, where he and Baker played as the Shady Valley Boys. McCoury has led his own band, first called Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals, and later the Del McCoury Band, since 1967. He and his group have won numerous IBMA awards and have become one of the most popular bands in bluegrass today.

Honors: SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Greats (1989); Grand Ole Opry (2003); IBMA Hall of Fame (2011)

Links: The Del McCoury Band's official website
Twangin' Interview, 1995
Country Standard Time feature, 1997