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LOUISIANA BLUEGRASS chronicles a history of bluegrass in Louisiana from the early string bands to the present.
LOUISIANA BLUEGRASS: The Early Years chronicles a history of bluegrass in Louisiana with a focus on the early bluegrass pioneers. Included is a general history of LOUISIANA BLUEGRASS through 1985 followed by profiles and photos of pioneering and 2nd generation bands. The end sections are devoted to photos and listings of contemporary bands, a discography of early recordings, bluegrass festivals, bluegrass clubs and newsletters, and instrument luthiers. The book ends with a 25-page photo section of numerous venues generously contributed by fans of LOUISIANA BLUEGRASS.
Louisiana Bluegrass: The Early Years
In 1940, ‘46, and ‘47, Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys toured as a tent show in north and west central Louisiana. These seminal events impacted numerous musicians and fans who had heard his 1930s recordings with his brother, Charlie, and performances on WSM's Grand Ole Opry.
With beginnings in the fiddle bands, string bands and churches of north, west, and central Louisiana as well as the Florida Parishes the instrumental and vocal blueprint of the modern bluegrass band was set. Numerous rural musicians were drawn to this hard-driving soulful music, especially the unique "high lonesome" vocals and the sound of the banjo. With no one to teach this difficult instrument, aspiring banjo players finally started learning the three-finger style from bands performing on the Louisiana Hayride and transplanted southeastern musicians.
With the 1960s, came an increase in bluegrass musicians and
performances on shows throughout Louisiana, culminating in the first bluegrass festival at the Old South Jamboree at Walker in 1968. Bluegrass festivals cropped up throughout Louisiana in the 1970s and '80s, peaking in the mid-1980s. Amidst a popularity decline for the last several years, bluegrass continues to have a stable following that upholds the tradition of these pioneering groups.
Ron Yule was born in 1943 in Missouri and began playing the fiddle in 1968 while a student at the University of Texas, where he received a B.S. in microbiology. He received his M.S. in microbiology from McNeese State University in 1974 and worked as a health inspector for the State of Louisiana, retiring in 1999.
In 1973, Ron began producing fiddle contests and promoting bluegrass shows throughout Louisiana and southeast Texas. He and his wife, Georgia, organized and produced the first bluegrass club and newsletter in the state of Louisiana, the Southwest Louisiana Fiddler and Bluegrass Club, from 1974 to 1977. Ron continues hosting fiddle and bluegrass jam sessions and shows each year, including the Beauregard Parish Fair Fiddle Contest, an event that has been active since 1925.
After retiring, Ron began organizing all the data and pictures he had collected over the previous 35 years and started a written documentation of fiddling, bluegrass, Cajun, and country music in Louisiana.
A Brief History of Bluegrass in
Louisiana: The Early Years
The Pioneers (photo & short bio)....51
2nd Generation Bands (short bio &
The Festival Scene.....154
Bluegrass Clubs and Newsletters.....157
Pickers at Play - Photos.....173
Books by Ron Yule.....215
Fiddle Country Publishing
Book Publisher: Friesens/Fiddle Country Publishing
No. of Pages: 232
Paper Weight (lb): 70 lb
Illustrations (B&W): 318
Dust Cover: Yes
Coated Paper: Yes