Today's Featured Songwriter|
[Photo contributed by Jack Blanchard]
June 4, 2001: Banjo player John Hartford, 63, died Monday in Nashville TN after a bout with cancer.
The New York native was raised in St. Louis where he listened to country
radio and became enamored with Flatt & Scruggs. He learned to play guitar,
banjo, mandolin and fiddle. In the early 1960's, Hartford played with bluegrass
bands in Missouri and Illinois, where he formed life long friendships with Doug
Dillard, Rodney, and the Dillard family.
He later headed to California and became a writer and performer on the
Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
Campbell hit with John's "Gentle On My Mind", the biggest earning and most
recorded country song for decades.
Hartford moved back to Nashville about 1970 and recorded "Aereo Plain" for
Warner Brothers in 1971. His "Mark Twang" (Flying Fish 1976) won a Grammy
for beset ethnic or traditional recording.
Hartford continued recording and writing prolifically with releases on Flying Fish and Rounder.
[ed. McClure & Trowbridge; orig. Countrystandard.com]