Saturday, 6 November 2010

An English bluegrass pioneer remembered

Today's instalment of the series 'I'm going back to old Kentucky', which appears daily on the Bluegrass Blog to commemorate the life of Bill Monroe, also commemorates a pioneer performer and promoter of bluegrass music in England, born sixty-eight years ago today.

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, bandleader, and promoter Peter Esmond Bernard 'Pete' Sayers (left) was born 6 Nov. 1942 in Bath, Somerset, England, and in his teens formed what may have been the UK’s first bluegrass band. In his late twenties he spent five years in Nashville, TN, where he worked (and often performed) on the Grand Ole Opry, hosted a breakfast TV show, and played banjo with Bill Monroe. His 'Grand Ole Opry England' in Newmarket was one of the venues for the 1975 European tour by Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys. Read the full feature (researched by Richard F Thompson) here.