Joe Stuart

(fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, mandolin - 8/18/1955-1957, 1962-1963, 8/1963-11/1963, 6/1970-1973)
Photo by Jim Peva. Click for full version.

Born: 2/7/1928    Died: 9/13/1987

As a Blue Grass Boy: Joe Stuart was a versatile musician, the only person to record on four different instruments as a Blue Grass Boy. He first played with Bill Monroe filling in on mandolin, when Bill was recovering from a broken collarbone. Bill hired him as his regular banjoist the next day. He was often Bill Monroe's sideman of choice for distant shows where the two of them would travel and play with a pickup band of local musicians. Even after his last stint as a Blue Grass Boy in 1973, he continued to sit in occasionally on fiddle, and appeared on recording sessions as late as 1976. He was the quintessential sideman, never widely known to the general public but highly regarded by his fellow musicians.

Recording Sessions: 9/16/1955, 4/20/1957, 5/15/1957, 5/15/1957, 12/15/1957, 11/23/1962, 12/6/1962, 12/10/1962, 1/27/1964, 1/28/1964, 2/3/1964, 4/9/1964, 12/2/1970, 12/3/1970, 1/13/1971, 1/15/1971, 1/20/1971, 3/21/1972, 3/10/1975, 3/11/1975, 3/12/1975, 10/20/1976, 10/21/1976, 2/1/1983, 4/20/1983

Before and After: Joe Stuart, along with Tater Tate, played mandolin and guitar with the Sauceman Brothers in the late 1940s. In 1953 he moved to Nashville and got a job playing bass with Flatt and Scruggs. He left to join the Blue Grass Boys in 1955. After his last regular stint with Bill Monroe, he was a member of the Sullivan Family band and Rual Yarbrough's Dixiemen, and also played some reunion shows with Carl Sauceman.

Links: Tribute by Bill and Wilma Millsaps