The topic of my column this month was all decided and mapped out. Ready to go, actually. All decided, mapped out and ready to go until a 2:00am Facebook post changed it all. The legendary Roland White (he of the impeccable bluegrass pedigree, one of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, past member of the Kentucky Colonels, and who, coincidentally, will gracing the main stage with his band at the CBA Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival this June), had shared a photo of his brother, the also legendary Clarence White. It’s a photo of Clarence playing his, wouldn’t you know it, legendary Telecaster guitar. And as with all things Clarence White, I got hooked and before long I was searching the web for more details. By a stroke of good fortune I found an outstanding series of articles done by Lance Davis.
If you hang out with bluegrass people for very long, you’re sure to be hearing stories. Lot’s of stories. The Davis articles take you on a ride that I guarantee you will not forget. They’re intimate and well-researched by a real master-author-fan. It’s a fantastic in-depth treatment that includes embedded sound and video files which help demonstrate Clarence’s impact on the music world. The articles are done chronologically, and Davis invites you to walk alongside as he delves into the life of Clarence White.
The articles are an informative read, and I’d highly recommend you take the time to check them out if you haven’t already. To get you started, here’s a link for Part 1 of Lance’s series:
Here’s another quick article featuring some classic Clarence White and Doc Watson at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. Flat out fantastic:
And for those of you inclined to the 1954 FenderTele side of things, here’s a link to a 2004 Vintage Guitar article featuring Marty Stuart:
Here’s Roland’s Facebook page: