Howard "Cedric Rainwater" Watts

(bass - 1944-4/1945, 7/1945-8/1945, 3/1946-3/1948, 1951)

Born: 2/19/1913    Died: 1/21/1970

As a Blue Grass Boy: Howard Watts, better known by his stage name Cedric Rainwater, replaced "Cousin Wilbur" Wesbrooks as bassist and comedian in 1944. He was introduced to Bill Monroe by Chubby Wise; the two had played together in Florida before moving to Nashville. Watts left and rejoined the band several times over the next four years, but played on all of Monroe's recording sessions during this time, singing baritone and bass harmonies as well as playing bass. These included all the recordings of the "classic" lineup that included Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and Chubby Wise.

Recording Sessions: 2/13/1945, 9/16/1946, 9/17/1946, 10/27/1947, 10/28/1947, 7/6/1951

Before and After: Watts left the band in early 1948 to join Flatt and Scruggs in their newly forming group. He stayed with them through early 1950, appearing on their first four recording sessions. Shortly after leaving Flatt and Scruggs, he was offered a job in Hank Williams' band, the Drifting Cowboys. After Williams' death Watts played with other country and bluegrass musicians, including Hank Snow, Ray Price, Ferlin Husky and Jimmy Martin. In the 1960s he worked as a booking agent and ran a restaurant before joining the reunited Drifting Cowboys to back Hank Williams Jr. in 1969. Shortly thereafter he died of a heart attack at age 56.

Honors: IBMA Hall of Honor (2007)