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A to Z listing

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  • Originally from Los Angeles, California. Moved to Virginia in 1976.
  • Formed in 1974. Original members: Don Parmley and son David (who was 15 at the time), Randy Graham and Bill Bryson.
  • Don Parmley (banjo) is a native of Monticello, Kentucky. He moved to Los Angeles in 1956 and performed with several LA bands including the Golden State Boys and The Blue Diamond Boys (later The Hillmen)—with Vern Gosdin and Chris Hillman. He also worked with Glen Campbell. As a studio musician, he played banjo on the TV soundtrack “The Beverly Hillbillies.” (While Flatt and Scruggs recorded the theme song and made guest appearances on the show, it was Parmley who played banjo on the program’s soundtrack.) He was employed as a school bus driver when he formed the Bluegrass Cardinals in 1974.
  • 1976, released first album The Bluegrass Cardinals (Tacoma/Briar) and subsequently moved to Virginia.
  • 1977, released Welcome to Virginia album (Rounder).
  • 1978, released Livin’ in the Good Old Days album (CMH).
  • 1979, released Cardinal Soul album (CMH).
  • 1980, released Live and On Stage album (CMH).
  • 1980, released Sunday Morning Singin’ album (CMH).
  • 1981, released Where Rainbows Touch Down album (CMH).
  • 1983 released Cardinal Class album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1984 released Home is Where the Heart Is album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1986, released Shining Path album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, released New and Old Favorites album (BGC).
  • 1993, David Parmley left the band to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by Jeff Autry.
  • 1994, released My Kind of Grass album (BGC).
  • 1996, released Mountain Girl album (BGC).
  • 1997, the group disbanded for good.
  • 2000, Don and David re-united to do a few “Cardinal Reunion” shows with Steve Day and Mike Anglin of Continental Divide.
  • 2007, the State of Kentucky put up a commemorative road marker that reads “Welcome to Wayne County, Home of Don Parmley, Founding Member of the Bluegrass Cardinals.”
  • 2015, David Parmley formed a new band called David Parmley and the Cardinal Tradition. He had been driving a bus for Rascall Flatts.
  • 2016, Don Parmley died.
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