Thursday, 29 January 2015

Bill Yates of The Country Gentleman passes

This week has seen the passing of another, much-loved, Bluegrass musician - Bill Yates.

While Bill may be best known for his time with The Country Gentlemen and, latterly, The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band it is clear from the comments made since Bill's passing that he was seen by many as a mentor and friend to many and deserving of the description 'The Ambassador of Bluegrass Music'.

Bill worked with the likes of Red Allen, Jimmy Martin and Bill Monroe but, at the end of the Sixties, joined The Country Gentlemen. Bill eventually became a full partner in The Country Gentlemen along with Charlie Waller, Doyle Lawson and Bill Emerson.  Bill was a member of The Country Gentlemen for over 20 years before retiring in 1989.

In 2005, Bill assembled 'Bill Yates & The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band' to continue bringing the sounds of 'The Gentlemen' to audiences far and wide; ultimately leaving the bass-playing duties to Larry Kirk, Bill was still there leading the band as can be seen in the clip below.

A sad loss to Bluegrass and sincere condolences go out to the Yates Family.