May 20, 2022: Mac Wiseman Trivia

This Contest is Closed
The winners are Cecelia Chilton & Andy Bing

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Let’s think about the late Mac Wiseman, huh? He was known as “The Voice with a Heart”. Although a young victim of polio, that caused him to limp his entire life, Mac had as full a life in country and bluegrass music as anyone.

Which of the following was Mac known for?
a. He was a Blue Grass Boy for Bill Monroe, shortly after Lester Flatt left.
b. He was a founder of the Country Music Association
c. He played bass fiddle with Molly O’Day and the Cumberland Mountain Folks when Molly was recording the songs of a young songwriter named Hank Williams
d. He was a Foggy Mountain Boy and played guitar and sang on Flatt & Scrugg’s very first recordings together, and lent Earl his Gibson guitar to finger-pick the breaks on gospel songs
e. He was a manager of the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree radio show
f. He was long-time treasurer of the Nashville Musician’s Union
g. He had a major hit in the 1950s with “The Legend of Davy Crockett”
h. Mac started his solo career carrying a band known as “The Country Boys”
i. In later years of his solo career, Mac would literally perform solo, with just his guitar and warm story-telling. If the promoter provided Mac with a bluegrass band, they would accompany Mac. Mac didn’t care one way or the other.
j. Mac was a founder of the IBMA – International Bluegrass Music Assoc.
k. Mac’s memory was sharp as a tack right to the end and his auto-biography reveals a lot of myths and secrets of the bluegrass world, for instance why Bill Monroe relented to having Flatt & Scruggs join the Grand Ole Opry
l. Mac was an A&R man (Artists & Repertoire) for DOT records, calling the shots in recording sessions for acts including Reno & Smiley
m. It is argued that Mac made the first bluegrass recordings using twin fiddles.
n. Mac was never a member of the Grand Ole Opry
o. Mac encouraged and advised young people who were coming up in bluegrass music
p. Mac made a terrific duet album with the late John Prine — “Standard Songs for Average People”
q. A and D
r. A, B, D and J
s. All of the above

ANSWER is “S” – All of the above

Additional Bowden Comments

Mac Wiseman did about all that could be done in hillbilly, country and bluegrass music. I’m so glad he produced an autobiography in the last few years of his life so we could learn a bunch of the tidbits in his memory. For instance, he was there when Martha White DEMANDED that the Opry bring on Flatt & Scruggs, lest they remove their sponsorship!! Mac reported the meeting in his book. Roy Acuff was called on to chair the meeting! Bill Monroe had prevented their induction to the Opry (because they quit the Blue Grass Boys and started competing with him), so all eyes were on Bill to relent. As Mac reports it, they let Bill “save face” by volunteering the poor Curly Seckler (F&S’ mandolinist) would never play a mandolin break on the Opry stage! So Monroe relented. Can you imagine?!

Plus of course, he was a WONDERFUL, warm singer — a real balladeer. RIP Mac.

Dick Bowden

Dick Bowden recently retired after a 45 year career in the paper industry, and moved from Connecticut to Big Indian NY (Ulster County) where he ekes out a precarious existence as a groundskeeper. Dick has been performing bluegrass music on banjo and guitar since 1966 in his home state of Maine, throughout New England, and internationally with The Case Brothers - Martin & Gibson. He has performed for HVBA with the Old Time Bluegrass Singers, and also sent in a squadron of Dick Bowden's Flying Circus. Most recently Dick has played Dobro (tm) with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Dick has written many articles for Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass magazine) and HVBA.

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