- From New England. Was born in Everett, Massachusetts.
- Real name: Joseph Valiante. His last name was shortened to Val by fiddler Tex Logan.
- An influential mandolin player and tenor singer in the New England area.
- 1950’s, performed with the Radio Rangers and the Lilly Brothers.
- 1960’s, worked with Bill Keith, Jim Rooney, Breakfast Special, and the Charles River Valley Boys, a group that became well-known after recording an album for Elektra called “Beatle Country”featuring bluegrass arrangements of songs by the Beatles.
- 1969, formed The New England Bluegrass Boys and recorded five albums for Rounder.
- He had a full-time day job as a typewriter repairman.
- Died in 1985. Was posthumously presented with the IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award that same year.
- 1986, a concert series (and later a bluegrass festival) was named in his honor.