28 December 2017

Curly Seckler, 1919-2017 (update)

The BIB learns with deep regret that one of the earliest members of the first generation of bluegrass musicians has left us: John Ray 'Curly' Seckler of China Grove, TN, who died peacefully at home yesterday, two days after his 98th birthday. From his mid-teens onwards, he played in eight different bands (including two terms with Charlie Monroe) before bringing his tenor singing and songwriting ability to the most influential bluegrass band of the 1950s and '60s, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, & the Foggy Mountain Boys.

An outline of his career, plus a video of Curly singing 'Please help me, I'm falling' on TV with Flatt & Scruggs, is on Bluegrass Today; a fuller obituary has appeared on the Nashville Tennesseean. More details are in his Bluegrass Hall of Fame citation. The 2016 biography by Penny Parsons, Foggy Mountain troubadour: the life and music of Curly Seckler - 272 pages with forty-nine photos - is available from the University of Illinois Press.

Update 29 Dec.: Arrangements for Curly's funeral, which will be held in Nashville on Monday 1 Jan., are given by Richard Thompson on Bluegrass Today.

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