The winner is Andy Bing
JANUARY 14, 2022 TRIVIA QUESTION
Bluegrass Royalty Trivia
Following is a list of bluegrass and/or country “royal” and other honorary titles. All have been legitimately assigned to certain bluegrass and country artists. Choose from the list of folks below, to match up with each royal or other honorary title:
Father of Blue Grass
King of Bluegrass
Queen of Bluegrass
King of the Carolina Dobro Pickers
Baron of Baltimore & the Duke(s) of Bluegrass
Baron of Bluegrass
King of the Strings
King of the Smokey Mountain 5-String Banjo Players
The First Family of Bluegrass Gospel
The Carter Family
Dale Ann Bradley
The Lewis Family
Father = Bill Monroe
1.Father of Bluegrass = Bill Monroe
2.King of Bluegrass = Jimmy Martin
3.Queen of Bluegrass = Rhonda Vincent according to the Wall St Journal, but Kitsy Kuykendall (widow of Bluegrass Unlimited publisher Pete Kuykendall) is the Queen to many!
4.King of the Carolina Dobro Pickers = Gene Wooten
5.Duke(s) of Bluegrass = banjoist Walter Hensley and his band (he was sometimes also known as the Baron of Baltimore)
6.Baron of Bluegrass = Lester Flatt, according to his biographer Olan Bassham
7.King of the Strings = country picker Joe Maphis; his closest association with bluegrass is that he and his wife wrote Dim Lights Thick Smoke
8.King of the Smokey Mt. Banjo Pickers = Raymond Fairchild
9.The First Family of Bluegrass Gospel = The Lewis Family
10.Doctor Banjo = Pete Wernick of Hot Rize
11.The Chief = Sonny Osborne
Additional Bowden Comments
A few other “titles” we used to bestow on festival acts included:
The Uncle of Bluegrass: either Charlie Monroe (Bill’s brother) or Uncle Pen Vandiver
Son of Bluegrass: James Monroe
Count Sparkula: Larry Sparks
The Noise from Indiana: The Boys from Indiana
Del McMuffin & The Dixie Cups: Del McCoury & the Dixie Pals, according to my 3 year old son
Blobby and Scummy, the Obscene Brothers: The Osborne Bros.
Oh we were wise-asses then!
Some of the names in my list with the trivia question DID have royal titles.
Roy Acuff and Kitty Wells were the King and Queen of Country Music
The Carter Family were called The First Family of Country Music.
Although not listed, Jimmie Rodgers was the Father of Country Music.
Father of Bluegrass-Bill Monroe
King of Bluegrass-Jimmy Martin
Queen of Bluegrass-Rhonda Vincent
King of the Carolina Dobro Pickers-Gene Wooten
Baron of Baltimore/Dukes of Bluegrass-Walt Hensley
Baron of Bluegrass-Lester Flatt
King of the Strings-Joe Maphis
King of Smokey Mtn 5-String…-Raymond Fairchild
First Family of BG Gospel-Lewis Family
Dr. Banjo-Pete Wernick
For extra credit:The Mother of Bluegrass (Self-Proclaimed)-Bill Harrell
I’m humbled by the vast amount I don’t know. I think I can match four or five:
Father of Bluegrass: Bill Monroe
Doctor Banjo: Peter Wernick
King of Bluegrass: Jimmy Martin?
Queen of Bluegrass: Rhonda Vincent
First Family of Bluegrass Gospel: Carter Family
and two of these are guesses.
Bill Harrell the Mother of Bluegrass???????? I don’t doubt it was self-proclaimed.
Mike, thanks for playing! I like anybody’s willingness to guess!
Let me add one more “title” that I’ve always loved. Earl Scruggs never really garnered a popular “title”. But this is how Lester Flatt introduced him for many years: “The banjo-playingest feller ever come through this part of the country.”
Bill Harrell would announce from the stage at bluegrass festivals I attended that he was the mother of bluegrass. His claim was undisputed so far as I can determine. These were family shows so I am sure he did not mean anything untoward.