The winners are:
Additional Bowden Comments
Great job by the 4 winners. Martha White ran a contest (announced in Bluegrass Unlimited among other media) and picked the winnner. One other band “not too happy” with the choice was Danny Davis and the Nashville BRASS, a horn band that also included a 5 string banjo played by old Blue Grass Boy Curtis McPeake (hey, banjos are made of brass, too). The Nashville Brass was a “club act” though, not working the usual bluegrass festival circuit. Flatt particularly liked the winning name (Martha White Flour made the choice.)
For the very first few gigs, Lester did use “& the Foggy Mt. Boys” but that was quickly added to the various lawsuits between Lester and Earl/Louise, and a court approved agreement prevented either from using that band name.
Lester’s first printed “souvenir” picture and song book was released before “Nashville Grass” was chosen, so there is a documented “Lester Flatt Show” name for the outfit. (I have a copy of it.)
“The Sparta Flashes” is a joke based on what Bill Monroe called his 1980s banjo player Blake Williams, who was from the same Tennessee hometown as Lester and fiddler Benny Martin — the town of Sparta. Slow-moving Blake was “The Sparta Flash”. Never used by Flatt though.
Lester indeed referred to the Flatt & Scruggs presentation as “our little country show”, but it was never considered as a band name.
And, the very THOUGHT of Lester calling the group “Blue Grass Boys” was way beyond the pale at that time. For Lester had hired away Monroe’s guitar man (Roland White) to play mandolin, and Monroe’s banjo player Vic Jordan. Flatt and Monroe had not yet had the famous reunion where the old feud was dropped. In fact, it was probably burning a little hotter than ever right then!
More Martha White trivia to follow!!!