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THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN

  • From Washington, DC.
  • How they formed: In July of 1957, Buzz Busby and the Bayou Boys were performing at the Admiral Grill in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia (Washington, DC area) when they were involved in a serious auto accident. This put Buzz Busby and other members of the band in the hospital. Bill Emerson, a member of the band who was not in the accident put together a pick-up band to fulfill some of the band’s commitments. In that band was Charlie Waller (guitar) and John Duffey (mandolin.) They were an instant success and decided to keep the new band together. Their first performance was on July 4, 1957.
  • The original band included Charlie Waller (guitar), Bill Emerson (banjo), John Duffey (mandolin) and Larry Leahy (bass.) Tom Morgan replaced Leahy on bass soon after the band started.
  • John Duffey (who later founded the Seldom Scene) suggested the name “Country Gentlemen” to Charlie Waller, who became the band’s leader. Interestingly enough, the name “Seldom Scene” was suggested to Duffey by Charlie Waller.
  • Former members of the band: Ricky Skaggs, John Duffey, Doyle Lawson, Eddie Adcock, Jerry Douglas, Jimmy Gaudreau, Mike Auldridge, Bill Emerson, Tom Gray, many others.
  • They were one of the first bluegrass bands to become popular on the folk music circuit, performing on many college campuses, at the Newport Folk Festival and Carnegie Hall.
  • 1965, their song “Bringing Mary Home” climbed to #43 on Billboard Magazine’s country music charts.
  • 1993, began performing as “Charlie Waller and The Country Gentlemen.”
  • 1996, the “Classic” Country Gentlemen (Waller, Duffey, Adcock and Gray) were inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Honor.
  • 2004, Waller died of a heart attack.
  • Randy Waller (son of Charlie) has continued to perform and record with his own version of the Country Gentlemen.

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