1/1/18: Curly's funeral was held at Spring Hill Funeral Home in Nashville. Eddie Stubbs delivered the eulogy. The Earls of Leicester performed "Who Will Sing For Me," Ricky Skaggs and The Whites performed "Gone Home," and Connie Smith performed "Gathering Flowers For the Master's Bouquet," backed by the Earls of Leicester. Curly was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery on Dickerson Road. At the graveside service, The Earls of Leicester performed "Reunion in Heaven," which was Curly's favorite gospel song that he recorded with the Foggy Mountain Boys. View his obituary here: http://www.springhillfh.com/obituaries/John-Seckler/#!/Obituary
12/27/17: Curly Seckler passed away after a short illness.
12/26/17: Curly and Eloise Seckler celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.
12/25/17: Curly celebrated his 98th birthday.
1/1/17: Many family members and friends attended Curly's 97th birthday party. Among those in attendance were Curly's sons Ray and Monnie and several of their children and grandchildren, Eddie Stubbs, Larry Stephenson, Roland White, Steve Sechler, Gary Tullock, Willis Spears and his family, Gerald McCormick, and Jeff Hardin.
12/26/16: Curly and Eloise Seckler celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary.
12/25/16: Curly celebrated his 97th birthday.
12/3/16: Curly was featured on Paul Brown's "Across the Blue Ridge" program on WFDD in Winston-Salem, NC. The hour-long show included music and interviews with Curly and author Penny Parsons. You may listen here: http://www.wfdd.org/story/across-blue-ridge-49-curly-seckler-dean-bluegrass-harmony-singing
9/29/16: Foggy Mountain Troubadour author Penny Parsons received the International Bluegrass Music Association's award for Print Media Person of the Year.
8/9/16: WUNC radio's Frank Stasio presented an excellent feature on Curly Seckler on his "The State of Thing" program. You may listen here: http://wunc.org/post/curly-seckler-foggy-mountain-troubadour
7/22/16: Penny Parsons and Eddie Stubbs presented a Foggy Mountain Troubadour book program at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Curly and Eloise Seckler and many of their family members were in attendance. After the program Curly and Penny signed copies of the new book in the museum store.
7/14/16: Cindy Baucom's syndicated "Knee Deep in Bluegrass" radio show featured Curly and the Foggy Mountain Troubadour Book. You may listen here: http://kneedeepinbluegrass.com/news/350/Knee-Deep-In-Bluegrass--Show-680.html
5/23/16: Foggy Mountain Troubadour: The Life and Music of Curly Seckler was published by the University of Illinois Press! The book is available on the store page of our website.
1/3/16: Many family members and musical friends attended a 96th birthday party for Curly. Among those on hand were Jesse McReynolds, The Whites, Bobby Osborne and Bobby Jr., Doyle Lawson, Roland White, Larry Stephenson, Willis Spears, Gerald McCormick, Eddie Stubbs, Johnny Warren, Charlie Cushman, Jeff White, and Laura Weber Cash. An article about the party appeared in The Tennessean on January 5.
12/26/15: Curly and Eloise Seckler celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary.
12/25/15: Curly celebrated his 96th birthday.
12/28/14: Many friends and family were present at Curly's 95th birthday party. You may view photos from the party on Curly's Facebook page.
12/26/14: Curly and Eloise Seckler celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary.
12/25/14: Curly celebrated his 95th birthday!
11/24/14: The Earls of Leicester (Jerry Douglas, Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Johnny Warren, Tim O'Brien, Barry Bales) gave a private performance for Curly, some close friends and family, and residents of the assisted living facility where Curly and his wife Eloise now live. Also attending were Evelyn Graves (widow of Josh Graves) and her son Bryan, Gary Tullock (son of Jake Tullock), and WSM/Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs.
8/5/14: Larry Sparks' "Lonesome and Then Some" CD was released on Rebel Records. Curly was featured singing his distinctive tenor on two songs: "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke" and "I'm Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing." You may view a short video of Larry and Curly singing "Dim Lights" backstage at the Bean Blossom Festival on Curly's Facebook page.
12/26/13: Curly and Eloise Seckler celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary.
12/25/13: Curly celebrated his 94th birthday.
12/11/13: Curly recorded two songs at Hilltop Studio in Nashville with Larry Sparks for Larry's upcoming release on Rebel Records. Also taking part were bluegrass legends Jesse McReynolds and Bobby Osborne, and top notch supporting musicians Ron Stewart (fiddle), Tim Graves (dobro), and Tyler Mullins (banjo). The project, which includes several other big names and will commemorate Larry's 50th anniversary in music, will be released on Rebel Records in August of 2014.
9/26/13: Curly's former bandmate Paul Warren was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame during the Awards Show in Raleigh, NC. Curly was unable to make the trip due to health issues, however his wife Eloise, who was Paul's widow, and her three children, Gary, Johnny, and Debbie, were all in attendance.
5/19/13: Curly suffered a stroke that affected his speech. He underwent several weeks of speech therapy, but was not hospitalized.
12/26/12: Curly and Eloise Seckler celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary.
12/25/12: Curly celebrated his 93rd birthday.
9/25/12: Curly participated in and Earl Scruggs Storytelling session during the IBMA World of Bluegrass conference in Nashville. Scruggs passed away on March 28 at the age of 88. Joining Curly in remembering Earl were Gerald and Haskel McCormick and moderator John Fabke.
3/31/12: Curly performed at Mule Day in Columbia, TN. He was joined by Willis Spears on guitar, Johnny Warren on fiddle, Charlie Cushman on banjo, John Tomlin on mandolin, and Mike Bub on bass. The four-day Mule Day event draws close to 200,000 people each year, and is one of the largest events of its kind in the world.
9/24/11: Curly traveled to Bean Blossom, IN, where he was inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame. He performed two songs ("Dim Lights, Thick Smoke" and "Some Old Day") with the great Larry Sparks during the induction ceremony.
9/13/11: Curly performed at the Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. He was accompanied by Willis Spears on guitar, Johnny Warren on fiddle, Tim Graves on dobro, Blake Williams on banjo, and Kent Blanton on bass. Curly also participated in the Bluegrass Pioneers Recognition Ceremony that evening. He enjoyed visiting with old musical friends, including Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds, Tommy Scott, Curtis McPeake, Gerald and William McCormick, and many more.
4/13/11: Curly was honored in a Senatorial Statement read in the North Carolina Legislature. The Statement, which was introduced by Senator Andrew Brock of Rowan and Davie Counties, recognized Curly for his many accomplishments over 75 years in bluegrass music. It also mentioned his brothers, Marvin, George, and Duard, with whom he got his start in a family band in 1935. Click here to view the statement. (212kb PDF)
2/11: Curly was featured in a cover story in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. The article, written by bluegrass expert Gary Reid, included a recap of Curly's recent activities, along with photos from his appearance in December, 2010 at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
2/1/11: Ramblin' Tommy Scott released a CD of classic recordings (22 tracks) which includes several duets with Curly Seckler and some dialog between Curly and Tommy. The earliest tracks date back to Tommy's and Curly's time performing together on radio in Augusta, GA in 1941. The most recent tracks were recorded in the 1980s. Email us for ordering information: firstname.lastname@example.org
1/24/11: Curly taped The Marty Stuart Show for RFD-TV. He sang the gospel classic "Lord, I'm Coming Home." The show first aired on June 25, 2011.
1/2/11: Gerald McCormick hosted a 91st birthday party for Curly. Musicians attending included Willis Spears, Larry Perkins, Johnny Warren, Charlie Cushman, Michael Cleveland, Roland White, Eddie Stubbs, The McCormick Brothers, Mike Bub, and more.
12/25/10: Curly celebrated his 91st birthday.
12/4/10: Curly was featured in a special program at the Country Music Hall of Fame, celebrating his 91st birthday (Dec. 25, 2010) and his 75th anniversary in music. During the first part of the program Curly discussed the highlights of his career with host Kyle Cantrell of Sirius XM Radio, accompanied by photos, audio, and video clips. At the end of the interview, we presented Curly with a letter of congratulations from the White House, signed by both Barrack and Michelle Obama. Then Curly performed several of his trademark songs, with a stellar group of musicians, including Willis Spears, Larry Perkins, Johnny Warren, Tim Graves, Kent Blanton, and special guests Laura Cash, Jeff Hardin, and Roland White.
10/7/10: Curly was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in Kannapolis, NC. In the afternoon he toured the museum and was interviewed for the museum's video oral history project. The evening festivities included a banquet and entertainment by several of the inductees, including Curly, Doc Watson, and George Hamilton IV. During Curly's induction, NC Representative Fred Steen, of Rowan County, presented him with a letter of congratulations from Governor Bev Perdue and a Certificate of Acknowledgment and Congratulations from the NC House of Representatives (see photo on our Scrapbook Page). Curly closed out the evening's festivities by performing two of his trademark songs, "Moonlight on My Cabin" and "Mother Maybelle." He was accompanied by his cousin Steve Sechler (who plays guitar with country star John Conlee) and his friend and musical collaborator Larry Perkins.
7/10/10: Curly performed with Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys at Jesse's Pick Inn Festival in Gallatin, TN. Curly and Jesse sang several songs together, including the classics, "Salty Dog Blues," "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke," and "We'll Meet Again Sweetheart." Jesse celebrated his 81st birthday at the festival.
6/24/10: Curly attended the Pioneers of Bluegrass event at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. He visited with many old friends, including Ramblin' Tommy Scott, who was celebrating his 93rd birthday. Curly performed two songs as a guest with Mac Martin & the Dixie Travelers on the afternoon show, and two songs with The Whites on the evening show. At the Legends Dinner, Gerald McCormick and Penny Parsons presented Curly with a letter of congratulations from U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee and a Hatch Show Print poster celebrating Curly's 75th Anniversary in Music (available from our Store Page).
5/23/10: Curly attended Mac Wiseman's 85th birthday party, at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville. The event was hosted by Eddie Stubbs and broadcast live on WSM Radio. Among the other attendees were Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Del McCoury, Ronnie Reno, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely, David Frizzell, and many more.
4/6/10: Shanachie Records, in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame, released Volumes 9 and 10 of the superb Flatt & Scruggs TV Shows. Curly is featured in both volumes. Sadly, these are the last two volumes to be released in the series. You may order these DVDs on our Store Page.
4/5/10: Curly underwent triple bypass surgery at Centennial Hospital in Nashville, after experiencing a heart attack on April 3. The surgery was successful, and he was released from the hospital a week later.
2/11/10: Curly made a guest appearance at a tribute concert for Mother Maybelle Carter at David Lipscomb University in Nashville. He sang the song, "Mother Maybelle," which he had recorded with Larry Perkins in the 1990s (available on Curly's "60 Years of Bluegrass" CD) Also appearing on the show were John Carter Cash, Laura Cash, Dale Jett, Earl Scruggs, Larry Perkins, The Whites, the Del McCoury Band, the Gatlin Brothers, Tom T. Hall, and others.
2/5/10: Curly made a guest appearance at the SPBGMA event in Nashville. He sang two songs with The Tim Graves Band, and his friend Jeff Hardin presented him with a plaque commemorating his 75 years in bluegrass music. Curly received a standing ovation!
2/4/10: Curly appeared at Jesse McReynolds’ annual benefit show in Gallatin, TN. The show was a benefit for Eddie Adcock. Also appearing were Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys, Marty Raybon, Eddie & Martha Adcock, Roland White Band, Tim Graves, Larry Stephenson Band, and others.
12/27/09: Gerald McCormick hosted a 90th birthday party for Curly. Guests attending included Marty Stuart, John Conlee, James Monroe, Steve Sechler, Roland White, Willis Spears, Eddie Stubbs, Ronnie Reno, Wayne Lewis, Michael Cleveland, Charlie Cushman, Kent Blanton, The McCormick Brothers, and many more. Eddie Stubbs gave a congratulatory speech and Gerald McCormick presented Curly with a cake. RFD TV taped an interview with Curly, Ronnie Reno, and Wayne Lewis, and also filmed the musical performances.
12/27/09: We debuted the brand new CURLY SECKLER 75TH ANNIVERSARY T-SHIRTS! These snazzy shirts commemorate a major milestone for Curly in 2010: his 75th year as a professional musician. The shirts feature pictures of Curly from different stages in his illustrious career, and are available in blue and dark gray, in a variety of sizes. Click here to order.
12/25/09: Curly celebrated his 90th birthday.
11/14/09: Curly made a guest appearance on the Ernest Tubb Records Midnite Jamboree, which was hosted by Jesse McReynolds. Curly performed two solos, "Down in Caroline" and "The Letter That Went to God," and also sang "Salty Dog Blues" with Jesse. Curly's good friend, Jeff Hardin, accompanied him on fiddle. After the show, Curly and Jesse signed autographs and greeted fans at Ernest Tubb Records.
11/6/09: Curly performed at the Bluegrass Gospel Association's annual awards show at the Texas Troubadour Theatre, accompanied by Larry Perkins on guitar and John Tomlin on mandolin.
9/13/09: Curly attended a surprise 70th birthday party for his friend Willis Spears in Columbia, TN. In addition to eating lots of fried chicken and cake, Curly, Willis, Gerald McCormick, and other friends joined in for some good pickin' and singin'.
7/11/09: Curly performed with Jesse McReynolds at the Pick Inn Festival in Gallatin, TN.
6/27/09: Curly and Willis Spears performed at the Song of the Mountains Festival at the Davis Valley Winery in Groseclose, VA. They were accompanied by Big Country Bluegrass and David Nance on dobro. Curly also made a guest appearance on Jesse McReynolds’ set. They discussed their long friendship, which dates back to 1949 when they worked together in a band called the Smoky Mountaineers. Then Jesse and Curly sang the classics, “We’ll Meet Again Sweetheart” and “Salty Dog Blues," after which the festival honored Jesse with a cake, celebrating his 80th birthday.
5/22/09: Curly was the featured guest on UNC-TV's North Carolina People show, hosted by William Friday. This program can be viewed on our Home Page.
5/16/09: Curly performed at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA, along with the fine North Carolina band, Constant Change . Also on the show were the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Jetts Creek, and Gary Crain. Leroy Troy made a guest appearance with Curly on one song. The concert was taped for broadcast on the Song of the Mountains TV show on PBS. Song of the Mountains is an hour-long program, hosted by Tim White, which airs weekly on over 160 PBS affiliates nationwide. If your local affiliate does not carry this show, please write them and ask them to add it to their programming. The show featuring Curly Seckler and Constant Change is scheduled for broadcast in early 2010, as part of SOTM's fifth season. Check local listings for the air date.
5/9/09: Curly performed at the Bluegrass in Wilkes Festival in Wilkesboro, NC, backed by Big Country Bluegrass. Also appearing as a special guest on the program was fiddler Jim Shumate, who was an original member of the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1948. Jim joined Curly on stage to fiddle on "Cabin in Caroline" and "We'll Meet Again Sweetheart," which were two of the earliest songs recorded by the Foggy Mountain Boys.
5/2/09: Curly joined Johnny Warren and Charlie Cushman on stage at their CD release party at the Station Inn in Nashville. They were celebrating the release of "A Tribute to Fiddlin' Paul Warren," which features Johnny playing many great obscure fiddle tunes from his dad's repertoire. Though Paul achieved legendary status over his 30+ year career (first with Johnnie & Jack, then with the Foggy Mountain Boys, and finally with the Nashville Grass), he never had the opportunity to make any solo recordings. With this CD, Johnny and Charlie have recreated the old-time Paul Warren sound, with the help of guests Marty Stuart, Tim Graves, Earl Scruggs, Curly Seckler, and Kent Blanton. The CD may be ordered from: www.charliecushman.com.
2/28/09: Curly was honored at the 13th Annual Leon Kiser Memorial Tribute Show at the Paramount Center in Bristol, TN. He performed several songs, accompanied by Kody Norris, Tom Isaacs, Tim White, Alex Leach, and Randy Jackson. Also honored were WCYB radio pioneers Fey Rogers and Bob Smith, Clarence "Tom" Ashley, and Larry Blevins.
2/24/09: Shanachie Records, in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame, released Volumes 7 and 8 of the fantastic Flatt & Scruggs TV shows. This set features the earliest surviving show, from 1956. It also features Curly singing one of his well-known solos: "What's the Matter Now." You may order these DVDs on our Store Page. Please note that we have lowered our price on all DVDs to $20.00, with FREE SHIPPING!
12/25/08: Curly celebrated his 89th birthday. On December 26, he and his wife Eloise celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. On December 28 Curly attended a birthday party hosted by Gerald and Martha McCormick. Many of his picking friends were on hand to start Curly's new year off in fine musical style. They included The McCormick Brothers, Willis Spears, Johnny Warren, Charlie Cushman, Michael Cleveland, Roland White, Jesse McReynolds, and many more. Jesse presented Curly with a copy of the new CD of early Jim & Jesse recordings recently released by Bear Family. It contains songs from their 1952 session when Curly was in the band (including the original recording of "A Purple Heart").
11/2/08: The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kenucky unveiled a brand new Curly Seckler exhibit. The exhibit, which will remain up for one year, includes photos, posters, and LPs from Curly's 70+ years in bluegrass music, as well as a guitar case, stage clothes, and a hat. After the unveiling ceremony, Curly performed for the museum board members, trustees, and other VIPs, accompanied by his friends Willis Spears and Larry Perkins. Other featured performers included Dewey Murphy, Gloria Belle, and Ronnie Reno.
10/25/08: Curly and the Steep Canyon Rangers headed to Crewe, VA, for a live interview and performance on WSVS radio. This station was the home base for Curly in 1954, while he was with Flatt & Scruggs. In addition to doing daily programs over WSVS and weekly appearances on WRVA's Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, the Foggy Mountain Boys taped all of their Martha White radio programs at WSVS and sent them back to WSM to be aired. At that time, WSVS radio's most popular DJ was Little Jody Rainwater, who had worked with Curly in the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1950. On October 25, 2008, Curly and Jody were reunited in the WSVS studios for the first time in 54 years. That evening Curly and the Steep Canyon Rangers gave a fantastic performance to an enthusiastic audience at the Kenbridge Town Hall, in Kenbridge, VA. Our thanks go to BB&T and all the fine sponsors, and to WSVS station manager Chris Gowin for all his hard work in coordinating the events and in running the sound. A portion of the proceeds of the show went to benefit a local chapter of the Salvation Army.
10/24/08: Curly was in Durham, NC to tape The State of Things for WUNC radio. He chatted with host Frank Stasio about his career, and performed several songs backed by the Steep Canyon Rangers. The State of Things airs weekdays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time on WUNC. The program featuring Curly is scheduled to air on December 26. For details visit: http://www.wunc.org/programs/tsot
10/10/08: Curly performed with the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Station Inn in Nashville. Also on hand was our friend Larry Perkins, who accompanied Curly on guitar on the song, "Mother Maybelle."
10/8/08: Curly appeared live in the studio with Eddie Stubbs at WSM radio in Nashville to talk about his upcoming appearances with the Steep Canyon Rangers.
9/25/08: Curly performed with Willis Spears and the McCormick Brothers at a benefit show in Portland, TN for Dewel Bullington, long-time fiddler with the McCormick Brothers. The show was a rousing success, raising several thousand dollars for Bullington, who had spent most of the summer in the hospital. Also performing on the show were The Del McCoury Band, Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys, Thornton Cline & the Nashville Suzuki Players, and Michael Twitty & the Twitty Bird Band.
9/24/08: Curly visited live in the studio with Kyle Cantrell of XM Satellite Radio.
8/9/08: After visiting with his family in China Grove for a week, Curly stopped off in Stanfield, NC to record with the Jones Brothers & the Log Cabin Boys for an all-gospel project. Curly sang tenor on 11 songs, including his original, "No Mother or Dad."
8/2/08: Curly performed at the historic Carter Family Fold during the 34th annual Carter Family Memorial Festival. He was accompanied by Willis Spears, and they were backed by the fine Virginia band, Big Country Bluegrass. Leroy Troy made a guest appearance with Curly, playing clawhammer banjo on Curly's original, "Early Years Back Home," as he did on the recording. Also making an appearance was Willis Spears' 10 year old grandson, Josh, who sang two songs with his granddad.
Lynwood Lunsford, banjo player with Big Country Bluegrass, posted the following on Bgrass-L after the festival:
"I count this past Saturday as one of my most memorable career highlights ever! It took place at the Carter Fold, homeplace of the famous Carter Family, in Hiltons, Va. The event was their 34th annual Old-Time and Bluegrass Music Festival. Booked on the show that day was, simply put, a piece of bluegrass history.....Curly Seckler! Curly brought along his long-time singing partner, Willis Spears and we (Big Country Bluegrass) were asked to back them up. I decided to invite my old friend, David Nance (18 years a member of the Sunny Mountain Boys), to play the dobro. So, with me on the banjo, Jeff Michael on fiddle, Alan Mastin on bass, Tommy Sells on mandolin and David Nance on dobro, we went through two sets of some of the most beloved and classic songs in bluegrass history! It was a thrill for me to try and "be" Earl Scruggs, to hear that unmistakeable tenor voice of Seckler's, to listen to Willis Spears (probably the closest to Lester Flatt that's ever been) sing those old songs and to make the music that I cut my teeth on! But, the magnitude of what was going on, didn't hit me until Willis launched off into the Martha White theme song. At exactly the same moment, myself, Jeff and David, all got the biggest goosebumps that you ever saw!! It was the most magical moment that I have ever experienced in music."
6/26/08: Curly joined about sixty other bluegrass legends at the Pioneers of Bluegrass event at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. Curly enjoyed visiting with old friends from his 73 years in music, including Tommy Scott, Curtis McPeake, The McCormick Brothers, Jesse McReynolds, Bob Moore, Lance LeRoy, and many others. The pioneers were honored with a dinner and concert at the Riverpark Center on Thursday evening, and many of them took part in a storytelling session on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon some of them headed to the River Of Music Party (ROMP) Festival, where they performed an impromptu set of classics. On Saturday morning, the museum showed oral history documentaries of Earl Scruggs, Curly Seckler, and the McCormick Brothers. To date the museum has filmed oral history interviews with over 150 bluegrass pioneers. For more information, visit the museum's web site: www.bluegrass-museum.org.
4/14/08: Curly was pleased to participate by phone in an on-air birthday celebration for his old friend and bandmate, Jody Rainwater, at WSVS radio in Crewe, VA. Jody, who turned 89 on April 13, was a hugely popular DJ at WSVS from 1952-1971. Prior to that he worked for several years as the bass player, comedian, and booking agent for Flatt & Scruggs. Jody still lives in Crewe, and visits WSVS often. WSVS continues Jody's legacy of playing "real" country music and bluegrass daily. They recently began streaming live on the internet.
4/1/08: Shanachie Records released Volumes 5 and 6 of the fantastic Flatt & Scruggs TV shows from the early 1960s. Curly is featured singing a solo in Volume 5. Click here to order.
1/31/08: Curly was in the studio with his step-son, Johnny Warren, who worked with Curly in the Nashville Grass in the early 1980s. Johnny's new recording project will be a tribute to his father, the late, great fiddler, Paul Warren, who is best known for his work with Johnnie & Jack, the Foggy Mountain Boys, and the Nashville Grass. In addition to Curly, others helping Johnny out on the project are Earl Scruggs, Charlie Cushman, Marty Stuart, Tim Graves, and Kent Blanton.
1/6/08: The Mountain Music Museum in Bristol, VA held Curly Seckler Day at its Pickin' Porch stage in the Bristol Mall. Tim White of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association introduced the program. Mayor David Helms of Marion, VA welcomed Curly and presented him with the key to the city. Then Curly and Penny Parsons took the stage for some reminiscing about Curly's 73 years in music. Tim White unveiled the new Curly Seckler exhibit, which will be on display at the Museum, and then Curly was joined by his favorite new band, The Steep Canyon Rangers for some rousing bluegrass tunes. Curly's friend and former singing partner, Willis Spears, was also on hand, and he and Curly recreated some great music from their years together. We surprised Curly with a belated birthday cake and banner celebrating his 88th birthday. Curly and the Rangers finished out the program, and we all ate cake and signed the banner for Curly as a memento of that great day. The event was attended by about 350 people, including Curly's old friend, Ramblin' Tommy Scott, Jim Sauceman and Imogene Sauceman Day (siblings of the Sauceman Brothers, with whom Curly performed in 1951 at WCYB in Bristol), Gary Reid of Copper Creek Records, and a host of other friends. Thanks to Tim White and all of the ACMA volunteers who helped make it a wonderful program. Thanks also to Larry Gorley at WOPI radio in Bristol for having Curly on his bluegrass show just prior to the event.
1/5/08: Curly performed at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA, along with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Also on the show were the Kruger Brothers and Larry Sparks. This concert was taped for broadcast on the Song of the Mountains TV show on PBS. Song of the Mountains is an hour-long program, hosted by Tim White, which airs weekly on over 160 PBS affiliates nationwide. If your local affiliate does not carry this show, please write them and ask them to add it to their programming. The show featuring Curly Seckler and the Steep Canyon Rangers is scheduled for broadcast in June, as part of SOTM's third season. Check local listings for the air date. Curly also sang a song with Larry Sparks, which will be included in Larry's SOTM program, to air the following week.
12/30/07: Curly's friends Gerald and Martha McCormick hosted a fabulous birthday party for Curly at their home near Nashville. There was lots of food and music, and, of course, birthday cake. Among the pickers who joined Curly for a fun afternoon of tunes were Gerald, Haskel, and William McCormick, Charlie Smith, Johnny Warren, Charlie Cushman, Michael Cleveland, Wayne Lewis, Hoot Hester, Willis Spears, Roland White, and many more. You may view photos of the event by visiting:
12/26/07: Curly and his wife Eloise celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary.
12/25/07: Curly celebrated his 88th birthday. For a glimpse into Curly's recollections of Christmas past, please visit: http://www.bluegrasstoday.com/curly-secklers-christmas/
11/7/07: Curly did a live interview with Kyle Cantrell on XM Satellite Radio, which reaches the entire US and Canada. Thanks to all who wrote us to say your heard it!
10/18/07: We were saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Clarence "Tater" Tate on the night of October 17. Tater was a fine fiddle player, guitarist, and singer who had worked with many bluegrass groups over the years, including The Shenandoah Cut-Ups, The Sauceman Brothers, Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass, Bill Monroe, Red Smiley, Carl Story, and The Bailey Brothers. Curly and Tater worked together many times over the years, and Tater helped Curly to record his first solo album in 1971 (see "That Old Book of Mine" on Store Page). In 2004 Curly once again called on Tater to provide the majority of the fiddle work on his two newest releases, "Down in Caroline" and "Bluegrass, Don't You Know." Curly and Tater last performed together in March of 2007, at the Paramount Center in Bristol, TN (see photos on Scrapbook Page). Tater had been battling lung cancer for many months. The bluegrass world has lost a great fiddler and Curly Seckler has lost a true friend.
Clarence "Tater" Tate, 2/4/31 - 10/17/07.
10/7/07: Curly performed at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, CA with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. Grisman had recently purchased the Gibson F-2 mandolin that Curly played on all concerts and recordings from 1941-1962. David had it restored just in time for this festival, and Curly played it again while performing "Salty Dog Blues" on stage with Grisman's band. A classic moment! (see photos on Scrapbook Page) Curly also made a guest appearance with The Steep Canyon Rangers while at the festival. This was Curly's first trip to the West coast since performing there with the Nashville Grass in the 1970s. A big thanks to David Grisman for making this happen! (To hear Sec and Dawg on record together, check out David Grisman's "Home is Where the Heart Is" on Rounder Records. This fantastic 2-CD set of traditional bluegrass was recorded in 1988, and features Curly on three songs: "Salty Dawg Blues," "Long Journey Home," and "Little Cabin Home on the Hill." Other guests include Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Red Allen, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, J.D. Crowe, Sam Bush, Alan O'Bryant, and Bobby Hicks. Highly recommended!)
10/2/07: Curly attended a program at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, celebrating the release of the latest set of DVDs of the classic Flatt & Scruggs TV shows. On hand for the program were Ricky Skaggs and Randy Scruggs, who were featured as guests on the TV shows, along with Earl Scruggs and moderator Eddie Stubbs from WSM radio. Following the program, Earl, Curly, Ricky, and Randy signed autographs and greeted fans in the CMHOF gift shop. Click here to order DVDs.
6/5/07: Curly attended a VIP preview party for the opening of Marty Stuart's new exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. This special exhibit, entitled "Sparkle and Twang," includes an impressive array of country music artifacts that Marty has collected over the years, and is well worth the trip for any fan of country/bluegrass music. The exhibit runs through November 11.
6/07: Ramblin' Tommy Scott's book, "Snake Oil, Super Stars, and Me" was released by Katona Productions. This 700 page autobiography includes hundreds of photos, song lyrics, show posters, and Tommy's memories of his illustrious career in show business with "Doc" Scott's Medicine Show. Of special interest to Curly Seckler fans are the chapter about Tommy's work with Charlie Monroe in 1939-1940 (Curly and Tommy both worked with Charlie during that time), and the chapter entitled "The Adventures of Tommy and Curly," which chronicles their year-long stint as a duo on radio in South Carolina and Georgia in 1941. The book is available from Katona Productions, Box 100, Toccoa, GA 30577.
5/07: David Grisman was recently able to purchase Curly Seckler's old F-2 Gibson mandolin - the instrument Curly played all through his tenure with the Foggy Mountain Boys! David is having it restored by the Gibson Company and hopes to have it in time for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, where Curly will make a special guest appearance with David's band.
Shanachie Records, in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame, released the first in a series of DVDs of the Flatt & Scruggs TV
show, broadcast on WSM-TV in Nashville in the late 1950s and early '60s. These shows feature Lester and Earl at their best, along with Foggy Mountain Boys Curly Seckler, Josh Graves, Paul Warren, and Jake Tullock... plus a few special guests. They are HIGHLY recommended. The music is fantastic, and the shows demonstrate what consummate entertainers these men were. Each DVD includes 2 half-hour shows, and there are 2 DVDs per set. Click here to order.
3/26/07: Curly performed as a special guest with the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Band at the Paramount Center in Bristol, TN. Also performing was Curly's good friend and musical associate, fiddler Clarence "Tater" Tate. Both Curly and Tater were presented with awards by ETSU's Raymond McLain, in recognition of their lifelong contributions to bluegrass music.
2/07: Enthusiastic review of "Bluegrass, Don't You Know" appeared in The Old-Time Herald magazine.
12/12/06: The Chicago Tribune picked Curly's "Bluegrass, Don't You Know" CD as one of the Top 10 bluegrass CDs of 2006! Reviewer David Royko stated
|"A professional musician since 1935, Seckler is part of bluegrass music's first generation, his greatest fame coming with the greatest years of Flatt & Scruggs, from the late '40s to the early '60s, for whom he provided both mandolin and vocals. His fabled tenor voice, while certainly aged, has retained every ounce of its engaging personality, and first-rate pickers such as Herschel Sizemore and Larry Perkins help their star shine."
11/4/06: Curly made a guest appearance with the Steep Canyon Rangers at Nashville's Station Inn, singing a number of his trademark songs, including "Moonlight on My Cabin," "Down in Caroline," and "Salty Dog Blues." The sell-out crowd gave them a standing ovation.
11/3/06: The Bluegrass Gospel Music Association presented Curly with an award, in appreciation of his many years of performing bluegrass gospel music, at their annual event at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville.
11/2/06: Curly and his music were featured in a live 2-hour interview with Eddie Stubbs on WSM Radio (650 AM) in Nashville. Thanks to the many listeners from Pennsylvania to Washington state who called or emailed us during and following the interview!
10/31/06: Curly did a live interview, along with the Steep Canyon Rangers, on Kyle Cantrell's bluegrass program on XM Satellite Radio.
10/17/06: Copper Creek Records released Curly's brand new CD, "Bluegrass, Don't You Know." The title song is a brand new Seckler original, sung by Curly and Larry Cordle. Other guests on the recording include Larry Sparks, Dudley Connell, Russell Moore, Rob Ickes, Tater Tate, Herschel Sizemore, Bob Moore and more.
10/14/06: Curly and Willis Spears performed with Marty Stuart at Lester Flatt Day in Sparta, TN. Among the songs they sang was the classic, "Salty Dog Blues." Also on hand was Gladys Flatt, Lester's widow, who is 91 years old.
10/7/06: Curly performed at the Nashville Music Classic Festival in Ridgetop, TN. His guests included Willis Spears and Gerald McCormick.
Thanks to John Tomlin for organizing the accompanying musicians.
10/3/06: Curly was an honorary pall bearer at the funeral of dobro legend Josh Graves, who passed away on September 30 at age 80. Curly and Josh worked together in the Foggy Mountain Boys from 1955-1962, and had remained good friends through the years.
10/06: The "Down in Caroline" CD received high praise in a review in Bluegrass Now magazine.
9/30/06: Curly performed on a "Legends" set at the IBMA Fan Fest. Also performing were Hall of Fame members Everett Lilly and J.D. Crowe. Curly and Everett Lilly, who each worked with the Foggy Mountain Boys in the 1950s, sang together here for the first time ever (see photo on Scrapbook Page). Foggy Mountain Boys dobro master Josh Graves was originally scheduled to perform as well, but he passed away unexpectedly on the morning before the show, after being hospitalized for a week. As a special tribute to Josh on the Legends set, many of the finest dobro players in bluegrass (including Randy Kohrs, Rob Ickes, Leroy Mack, Phil Leadbetter, and others) got together to perform two of Josh's signature songs. The Legends were accompanied by a top notch group of pickers, including Bryan Sutton, Randy Kohrs, Aubrey Haynie, Mike Compton, Charlie Cushman, and Mike Bub (see photo on Scrapbook Page). Hall of Fame member Lance Leroy was the emcee for the set.
9/29/06: Curly attended a ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium unveiling a plaque commemorating the "Birth of Bluegrass" in December, 1945, when what many consider to be the "original" bluegrass band (Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise, Cedric Rainwater) first performed on the Grand Ole Opry. The only surviving member of that band is Earl Scruggs, who was guest of honor at the ceremony. He was introduced by WSM Radio's Eddie Stubbs and Ricky Skaggs. Also in attendance were IBMA Hall of Fame members Curly Seckler, Everett Lilly, Jesse McReynolds, and Lance Leroy, as well as other Nashville dignitaries, and surprise guest Ray Price (who was performing at the Ryman that evening).
5/06: Glowing review of "Down in Caroline" appeared in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
4/29/06: Curly received several standing ovations for his performances at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC. He made a guest appearance on two sets with IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Larry Sparks. The two award-winning singers reprised several hits from Curly's tenure with Flatt & Scruggs, including "Some Old Day," "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke," "We'll Meet Again Sweetheart," and "He Took Your Place" (which they recorded together on Curly's new "Down in Caroline" CD). On Curly's own set, he was backed by the fabulous Steep Canyon Rangers from Asheville, NC. The Rangers are one of the hottest young traditional bands on the bluegrass scene. The chemistry between them and Curly was so great that we plan to book them together on some future shows, so check the Show Dates page for updates! Here are a few examples of email feedback we received:
"Curly, I loved the set you did with The Steep Canyon Rangers at MerleFest. The old and new was sensational. That was one of the most fun things I have seen in a long time." -Walt
"Steep Canyon Rangers, I saw you guys at the MerleFest on Saturday playing with Curly Seckler. Hands down the best bluegrass performance I've seen."-Aaron
"[At MerleFest] there was also Curly....that was the best thing I've seen since Bill [Monroe] passed [in 1996]. Seeing and hearing Sec reminded me what I fell in love with about this music." -Jeff
2/7/06: Curly recorded two songs with James King.
2/4/06: Curly performed with James King at the SPBGMA (Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) convention in Nashville, TN.
1/11/06: Glowing review of "That Old Book of Mine" CD appeared on Bluegrass Works website (http://www.bluegrassworks.com/review.php?reviewID=175)
10/26/05: Nashville, TN - The Country Music Hall of Fame showed an hour-long preview of the oral history documentary of Curly Seckler produced by the International Bluegrass Music Museum. This was followed by a storytelling session with Curly, WSM Radio DJ Eddie Stubbs, and Seckler biographer Penny Parsons. Later that evening Eddie Stubbs interviewed Curly live on his radio show.
Curly performed to a full house at the Roots & Branches Stage at IBMA Fan Fest in Nashville. He was backed by the fine Chris Sharp/David
Long Band, with guests Rob Ickes on dobro and Larry Perkins on guitar. Curly's special singing guests for the set were Gerald McCormick, Doyle
Lawson, Russell Moore, and Willis Spears.
10/11/05: County Records released a reissue of Curly's first solo recording, made in 1971 with guests Tater Tate, Herschel Sizemore, Billy Edwards, and John Palmer (The Shenandoah Cut-Ups). The CD, now entitled "That Old Book of Mine", contains 5 bonus tracks recorded in 1989, featuring Curly’s singing partner, Willis Spears, and the Nashville Grass (Larry Perkins, Ron Stewart, Philip Staff).
9/20/05: Copper Creek Records released Curly’s brand new CD, “Down In Caroline,” which was recorded in 2004 and includes many of Curly’s original songs, which have never been recorded before. Guests, in addition to those listed below, include Larry Sparks, Russell Moore, Rob Ickes, John Carter Cash, Laura Weber Cash, Doc Watson, Leroy Troy, Josh McMurray, and Andrea Roberts.
9/3/05: Curly performed at the Bass Mountain Bluegrass Festival near Burlington, NC. He was joined on stage by David Parmley & Continental Divide, Larry Sparks, Willis Spears, Rob Ickes, and Josh McMurray for a truly memorable set, for which he received three standing ovations. At the end of his performance, the festival presented Curly with a plaque commemorating his 70 years in bluegrass music.
6/23/05: Curly was present for the official unveiling of his plaque in the IBMA Hall of Fame at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. Many of his family and friends were on hand to celebrate with him, including Tommy Scott, Willis Spears, and the McCormick Brothers. The Museum also premiered a film about Curly’s life in music, as part of their ongoing oral history series. That evening, Curly was featured on the Legends in Bluegrass show at the RiverPark Center. He was accompanied by Tom Gray and Friends, and was joined for a few songs by his former singing partner in the Nashville Grass, Willis Spears, and also by Gerald McCormick.
4/12/05: Copper Creek Records reissued Curly’s “60 Years of Bluegrass” CD, which was originally recorded in 1994. Guests include Jimmy Martin, Ralph Stanley, Jim & Jesse, Josh Graves, Doyle Lawson, Benny Martin, Willis Spears, Marty Stuart, Tater Tate, Benny Sims, and many more.
10/7/04: Curly Seckler became the newest member of the IBMA Hall of Fame . He was presented with the award by WSM Radio and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs, at the IBMA Awards Show. Curly then performed one of his best known songs from the Flatt & Scruggs days, “I’ll Go Stepping Too,” backed by J.D. Crowe & the New South. He received a standing ovation.
6/14/04 – 6/16/04: Curly went into Flat5 Studio in Salem, VA to begin recording material for two new albums on Copper Creek Records, produced by Larry Perkins and Penny Parsons. Musicians on hand to help him on these sessions were Dudley Connell, Tater Tate, Herschel Sizemore, Chris Sharp, George Buckner, Kevin Sluder, and Larry Perkins. Additional tracks and overdubs were recorded in Nashville in the following months.
6/04: Curly was featured in a cover story in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
3/12/04 – 3/13/04: Curly performed in Smithfield, NC as part of a Legends in Bluegrass show at Johnston Community College. Also featured were Tater Tate, Herschel Sizemore, Allen Shelton, Kenny Baker, Josh Graves, John Shuffler, and Les Sandy.
4/23/03: Curly traveled to Bristol, VA for the induction of the Sauceman Brothers into the BCMA (Birthplace of Country Music Alliance) Museum. He was a member of the Sauceman Brothers’ band in 1951, and worked again briefly with Carl Sauceman in 1958.
12/26/98: Curly married Eloise Warren in Hendersonville, TN.
9/27/96: Curly received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA.
2/90: Curly and Willis Spears were featured in a cover story in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
1/1/87: Curly made Willis Spears his partner in The Nashville Grass.