September 15, 2011

Country music pioneer Wade Mainer dies at 104 (Jeff Karoub, 9/14/11, Associated Press)

He was a member of late brother J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers, one of the most popular sibling duos of the 1930s. He made recordings for all the major labels of the day, including RCA in 1935, and invented a two-finger banjo picking style that paved the way for the bluegrass era.

"Wade Mainer is the last of the old guard from the `20s and `30s to pass on. Mainer's Mountaineers was a huge group during that time. They influenced the Monroe Brothers, The Delmore Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, Reno and Smiley and countless other music groups from the South," country and bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs said in an email Wednesday to The Associated Press. "My dad loved them as well so I heard lots of Mainer's Mountaineers in my house, too."

John Ramble, senior historian of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn., said Mainer's two-finger style helped make the banjo more prominent in old-time, or early country music. Using two fingers, as opposed to the downward strumming motion of the "claw hammer" style, allowed him to be more melodic.





Posted by at September 15, 2011 7:28 AM
  

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