Akeman, David (“Stringbean”)


  • Native of Annville, Kentucky.
  • The first banjo player in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys (1942-1945). Played “clawhammer” style.
  • Was replaced in Bill Monroe’s band by Earl Scruggs.
  • Nickname: “Stringbean” (or “The Kentucky Wonder”).
  • From 1945 until his death in 1973, was one of the most popular comedy performers on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • His costume–a long striped shirt, with his pants down around his knees and a funny little hat that he would flip just before striking his banjo.
  • He became a regular on the original “Hee Haw” television show.
  • Died Saturday night, November 10, 1973, after a Grand Ole Opry performance. Was gunned down in his front yard by robbers who were there when he returned home.