September 18 Trivia Question

This Contest is Closed
The winner is Vinny Nugent


A young banjo picker wanted very badly to become a Blue Grass Boy/Girl. Another musician who knew Bill Monroe took this young person to a Monroe show to audition. The young banjo player lost his/her nerve and chickened out, and never even tried out for the job. This person became famous in a later musical career and undoubtedly did MUCH better than had he/she been a Blue Grass Boy/Girl. Who was this banjo picker with low self-confidence?

  1. Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
  2. Alison Brown (Allison Krauss + Union Station, and Compass Records)
  3. John Lennon (Beatles and solo career)
  4. Roy Clark (Hee Haw and solo career)
  5. Barbara Mandrell (solo career)
  6. John Hartford (Glen Campbell/Smothers Brothers tv shows, and solo career)

ANSWER is “A, Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)”

Additional Bowden Comments
Congrats to Vinny Nugent. David Grisman took his friend Jerry Garcia to a Bill Monroe show specifically to try out on banjo. Jerry backed out of the opportunity — lost his nerve.

Allison Brown said (in print) that she once THOUGHT she was going to try out on banjo for Bill Monroe. But it didn’t turn out to be that kind of audition. No harm was done other than that she was shocked and disappointed.

John Lennon played banjo in a skiffle band but never got any closer to Bill Monroe than a fractured version of Blue Moon of Kentucky.

Roy Clark won a national banjo championship but never tried out for Monroe.

Barbara Mandrell, no.

John Hartford, no, can you imagine?!

Thanks for playing. And it’s nice to see the number of participants growing. The next question is going to be a TOUGH one, but hopefully interesting.

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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