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Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)

Mary Katherine 25 Jun 09 - 12:12 AM
Mark Clark 25 Jun 09 - 12:48 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 09 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Guest 25 Jun 09 - 07:46 AM
Ron Davies 25 Jun 09 - 07:56 AM
Severn 25 Jun 09 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Mike Garfinkel 25 Jun 09 - 07:22 PM
Fortunato 25 Jun 09 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,fancyabby 25 Jun 09 - 08:13 PM
olddude 25 Jun 09 - 08:19 PM
topical tom 25 Jun 09 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,Bill in Alabama 27 Jun 09 - 09:31 AM
catspaw49 27 Jun 09 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,bill branham 03 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Albert Cooper 21 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Norris Long 27 Aug 09 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Don. Wertrz 01 Oct 09 - 09:20 PM
GUEST 28 Nov 09 - 05:16 PM
GUEST 23 Dec 11 - 09:17 AM
Mark Clark 23 Dec 11 - 10:19 AM
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Subject: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell RIP
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 12:12 AM

from a bluegrass newsgroup:


Date:    Wed, 24 Jun 2009 22:08:40 -0400
From:    Becky Johnson
Subject: Bill Harrell RIP

I am sad and blue tonight friends
My friend Bill Harrell passed away today, at 4:10pm, at his home in
Davidson, MD.
Another Great One in Bluegrass is gone forever
I remember him and his music as well as his antics on AND offstage
..........
does anyone out there remember the time, one night when he and the late
great Ed Ferris, both in altered states, climbed aboard the Johnson
Mountain Boys' tour bus, while the JMB's were playing their set on stage
at Winterhawk in the early 1980's....and proceded to hit the lights,
turn on the engine, slowly backup, and then drive it merrily away, down
the hill, to who only knows where.........yes, they eventually returned
it back to its parking spot, but not before the Boys discovered their
vehicle was missing, and rushed back out on stage shouting, "Our BUS is
GONE!", much to the somewhat confused delight of the crowd
As I recall, later that same night, after the wayward bus had been
returned back to its rightful owners, Bill found his way to the front
of the stage, where the Seldom Scene were performing; he became quite
animated indeed, and ended up jumping into a 50 gallon drum serving as a
trash receptacle, at the right front corner of the stage. Everyone saw
this and laughed, then whooped and hollered when the big burley New York
state troopers serving as stage security mistook Bill for a rowdy fan,
not one of the scheduled entertainers, proceeded to drag him away ,
kicking and screaming, "I'm a musician. I"m one of the performers here!"

Earlier today during my weekly show on WMMT radio, I honored Bill
Harrell by playing several of his tunes, one of them just shortly before
4pm ET. He passed at 4:10pm ET. Eerie...to say the least.......I also
gave out his address for folks to send cards and letters to his family.
And I also mentioned the car wreck that Nathan Stanley, Dewey and Leslie
Brown were in in NC Monday night, and also gave out addresses for
listeners.
Thanks for letting me share my sorrow, as well as a couple of funny
precious memories.
How I love my bluegrass family

Becky Johnson

mrsBLUEgrass

HOST of "The First Generation BlueGrass Show'
Wednesdays @ 1:00pm Et
WMMT Radio
www.wmmtfm.org


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell RIP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 12:48 AM

Thanks, Becky, for posting that. You have my condolences for the loss your good friend. I remember Bill well from the days when he worked with Don Reno. I just loved his voice and his guitar playing was mighty fine too. Some of the finest rhythm guitar in bluegrass music.

There's an old thread here somewhere in which the late Rick Fielding and I talked about Bill some. I had mentioned Bill in a post and Rick got all excited because nobody here had mentioned Bill before.

I remember having lunch and chatting with Bill at a festival where he was performing but right now I can't remember whether it was over in East Tennessee or down in Rosine, Kentucky.

The world seems a poorer place without Bill in it.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 07:17 AM

Thanks for posting. Bill Harrell was a classy gentlemen. My father called me today to pass this sad news along. My dad (Bonny Beverley) replaced Bill Harrell in the 70's after his accident and stayed with Don Reno until Don's death. He also played alongside Don and Red and sometimes Bill, from the 60's on. He and Ronnie Reno are the only ones left from this era. Bill' son Mitch is a great musician and sure sounds a lot like ole Bill. He will be missed....The JMB story was a classic. Ed Ferris was a great ole guy as was Fiddlin Buck Ryan who was my favorite. I spent many hours on the bus traveling during the summer and these guys were awesome. My dad has so many stories, I still have not heard one twice.

Ross Beverley
Chesapeake/VA


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 07:46 AM

I only met Mr. Harrell once, in March of this year. My dad had passed away and through what we can only call Divine Intervention, Mr. Harrell offered to come and sing my dad's favorite song at his funeral. The song was The Legend of the Rebel Soldier.

Mr. Harrell didn't know my dad but offered to give this final gift to him, coming from Davidsonville to Alexandria, VA in spite of his own health issues to do it.

Mr. Harrell was witty and kind and had a generosity of spirit that is not seen all that much in today's world.

My condolences to his family and friends; Mr. Harrell will always maintain a special place in my heart.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2
From: Ron Davies
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 07:56 AM

What a great story.   We'll miss Bill.

Traditional bluegrass seems to be falling on hard times. Good thing we have all the music from before.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: Severn
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 09:25 AM

I got to hear him quite a few times over the years with the Reno band and his own units and was a fan. His touring bands I saw in the Larry Stephenson and Paul Adkins years were always crack units and the core reassuringly stayed together for long periods of time, always putting on a good show and delivering the goods. Carl Nelson and Ed Ferris were always there when needed.


He had a thing about songs about being lonesome for a certain area, though and it always amused me how many different states he could be lonesome for on one LP. It never stopped me from buying them, though.


Another great gone. He'll be dearly missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,Mike Garfinkel
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 07:22 PM

I am saddenned by the loss of Bill. He was like many great talents, loved by many and misunderstood by some. I met Bill at PeeWee's place and he became a friend who influenced my music and taught valuable lessons about being a bandleader. My thoughts are with Mitch and his sisters, and I hope they find comfort in the memories and the music he left behind.
"... now he's restin' in the Promised Land"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: Fortunato
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:06 PM

Mike, if you're still out there, I'd like to hear a few of those lessons about being a bandleader you got from Bill Harrell.

My memory of Bill, though I met him in later years, was in my youth, watching him on the Channel 5 and Channel 20 in Washington DC, with Don Reno on the Don Reno Bill Harrell show with the Tennesee Cutups. I had old time country music from my family, but we hadn't taken up bluegrass as musicians yet, and I learned about it first from those TV shows, starting with Buss Busby in 1955.

Bill's rendition of the Johnny Cash song "I Still Miss Someone" has stayed in my mind for more than 40 years.

He was a good one.
chance shiver


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,fancyabby
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:13 PM

my heart is sad at this news. bill was a dear friend of mine. the first christmas after my husband died, i was having a hard time getting it together for christmas. we were all sitting in pee wee's and he sang getting ready for chritmas with out you. after i cried i went home and decorated my tree. i will miss you uncle bill.
michele


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: olddude
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:19 PM

Wow
is this a day or what ... I have never seen so many Obits on the cat in one day ... We are losing everyone

my gosh,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: topical tom
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 09:04 PM

He was one of the all-time bluegrass greats. RIP Bill Harrell.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,Bill in Alabama
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 09:31 AM

Bill Harrell was a close personal friend and fellow performer who will be missed strongly by our family. We worked the festival circuit with Bill up through the early '90's, and we always enjoyed his masterful entertaining and our long evening visits on our bus. When I was having hip replacement surgery in Arlington many years ago, he personally telephoned me from a performance venue to see how I was doing. He was a dear man, a dear friend. I treasure his memory. To quote from one of his songs, "Time has placed his hand upon my shoulder, and I know how sweet a memory can be."

Bill Foster


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 07:48 PM

This is the thread to which Mark refers and its well worth a reading if you haven't.

Hey Bill Foster........I'm of course glad to see you back here to post on this sad thread. I hope all is well.....I always valued your many contributions here.

Another fine musician.......If there is a hereafter, I'm sure Rick has already welcomed Bill to the jam.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,bill branham
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,Albert Cooper
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM

I joined Bill Harrell and the Virginians at Sheriff Huggins Hall in Maryland in the 1980s a great thrill for an Englishman to sing some bluegrass tunes backed by such a great band
www.myspace.com/albertcooper R I P Dear Bill


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,Norris Long
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 04:12 PM

I first heard Bill Harrell & The Virginians on the festival circuit in the mid-late 1970's. Bill was always a favorite of mine. He truly was the ultimate bluegrass balladeer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST,Don. Wertrz
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 09:20 PM

I remember one rainy night in Mancester ,Md. We wre in the fire hall an Bill sang that great gospel song .( I saw the Master this moning ,when he came down to wake the world) It made tears in your eyes. Thanks Bill R.I.P.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 05:16 PM

First heard Bill & The Virginians (Buck, Smitty & ?) at Fillmore Restaurant in Arlington VA in 1960. I think they played there every week. Had all his albums. Best I've ever heard. RIP
                      John Wiltrout New Bern NC


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:17 AM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Bluegrass musician Bill Harrell(24 Jun 2009)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 10:19 AM

Bill was so great. Although I saw him often at festivals when he and Don Reno were together, I never really got to know him personally. I wish I had.

For Mudcat readers who aren't familiar with Bill's work, try this YouTube video..

      - Mark


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