Born February 1, 1939 in Bakersville North Carolina Del McCoury has influenced many Performers, notably the Phish, Donna the Buffalo, and the String Cheese Incident, and has developed a dedicated fan base known as the Del-Heads.
First attracted to Bluegrass when he heard Earl Scruggs early 1950s banjo, McCoury began his career in the wild bar scene of Baltimore during the 1960s, and joined Bill Monroe in 1963, who moved him to guitar and Lead Singer, where McCoury received a life time of hands-on tutelage from the Father of Bluegrass in a little more than a year.
1981 brought the first big change to the Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals Band when his fourteen year old son Ronnie McCoury joined them as the mandolin player, and in 1986 his banjo playing youngest son Rob McCoury became a member as well.
After watching such notable Acts as Jim and Jesse, the Osbourne Brothers, and Bill Monroe, McCoury moved his band to Nashville in 1992 deciding Music City was where he needed to be because the new outlet the town presented would bring them more attention.
The 1990s not only launched McCoury to the top of the Bluegrass Music world, but also into the wider spectrum of all musical styles in general including Country-Rock and Jam Bands, gaining him immense college campus popularity and appearances on such venues as Austin City Limits.
Becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2003, along with winning his first Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2005, touring with the O Brother “Down From The Mountain” tour, recording his Grammy Award winning song “These Days,” with Vince Gill and Dierks Bentley, and hosting an annual New Year’s Eve Show at the Ryman, as well as creating his McCoury Records label in 2003, all paved the way for Bluegrass Musicians to be able to earn a living playing their music.
Signing with Rounder Records, and hiring a complete cast of young players, allowed McCoury’s career to soar, as did winning three consecutive International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Awards, nine IBMA Entertainer of the Year Awards, and a Grammy Award for the song “The Company We Keep”. McCoury also got to enjoy watching his son Ronnie win eight straight IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Awards.
A commanding presence still today for more than fifty years McCoury has provided hard core Bluegrass authenticity through the purity of the music he plays, his drive, and his energy, and remains a link to the early days of the genre when it was only played in honky-tonks, or on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, where it was first created, and has appeared on prime time television programs including Late Night With Conan O’Brien and The Late Show With David Letterman.
Heritage Fellowship Award:
It was announced on June 24, 2010 McCoury would receive the National Endowment For The Arts 2010 Heritage Fellowship Award to recognize his artistic excellence and support from the Nation’s Traditional Arts.
McCoury has won thirty-one International Bluegrass Music Association Awards including Male Vocalist of the Year Awards, Entertainer of the Year Awards, Album of the Year Awards, Instrumental Group of the Year Awards, and Song of the Year.
1968 – I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
1968 – Del McCoury Sings Bluegrass
1971 – Collector’s Special
1971 – Livin’ On The Mountain
1972 – High On A Mountain
1974 – Our Kind Of Grass
1975 – Del McCoury And The Dixie Pals
1976 – Del McCoury
1980 – Live In Japan
1981 – Take Me To the Mountains
1983 – The Best Of Del McCoury And The Dixie Pals
1985 – Sawmill
1987 – The McCoury Brothers
1988 – Don’t Stop the Music
1992 – “Blue Side Of Town”
1993 – “Deeper Shade Of Blue”
1996 – “Cold Hard Facts”
1998 – Del Doc And Mac (Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, and Del McCoury)
1999 – “Family”
2001 – “Del And the Boys”
2003 – “Its Just The Night”
2004 – Classic Bluegrass
2007 – Little Mo’McCoury (Ronnie McCoury Backed By Del McCoury Band)
2008 – Moneyland
2009 – Celebrating 50 Years
2009 – Family Circle
This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about Del McCoury including: