September 25 Trivia Question

This Contest is Closed
The winner is Paula Moskowitz


What did Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs have in common, before they ever joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1945?

  1. They both worked for Bill’s brother Charlie Monroe
  2. They were both sidemen (for different bands) on the Grand Ole Opry
  3. They both worked as laborers on the atom bomb project in Oak Ridge TN
  4. They were both from North Carolina
  5. They both played banjo as their first instrument
  6. They were both military veterans
  7. They both worked in textile mills
  8. None of the above
  9. D and E
  10. E and G


Additional Bowden Comments

Congrats to this week’s winner!

Only Lester Flatt (and his wife Gladys) worked in Charlie Monroe’s band, prior to joining Bill and the Blue Grass Boys in 1945.

Neither Lester nor Earl worked on the Opry prior to joining the Blue Grass Boys.

Neither worked at Oak Ridge.

Earl was from North Carolina. Lester was from Tennessee.

It is correct that both started out as boys picking on banjos! Lester gave up quickly on finding it too hard, and switched to guitar. But his family was full of banjo players — like Earl’s.

Neither were veterans.

It is correct that they both worked in textile mills during the war. Our “essential industries” in today’s Covid pandemic are echoes of the “essential war industries” in WWII. Earl’s work in the Lily Mill in Shelby NC earned him enough to support his widowed mother. Lester (and his wife Gladys) migrated as far as Virginia to work in textile mills. Of course, the textile industry was very nearly the predominant factory job in the South at that time.

So the correct answer was J, E&G. As I said, this was a hard one.

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.

12 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *