Allen, Red


  • From Pigeon Roost, Kentucky. Lived in Dayton, Ohio for most of his career. Given name: Harley Allen.
  • Formed his band The Kentuckians in the early 1950’s. Over the years, it included such musicians as Bill Keith, Frank Wakefield, David Grisman, Porter Church, Bill Emerson and Scott Stoneman.
  • Mid-1950’s, teamed up with Sonny and Bobby Osborne to form the earliest recorded version of the Osborne Brothers.
  • Once filled in for Lester Flatt (with Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys) when Lester suffered a heart attack.
  • Late 1960’s, worked with J.D. Crowe and Doyle Lawson in the Kentucky Mountain Boys.
  • 1964, released “Red Allen, Frank Wakefield and the Kentuckians: Bluegrass” album (Folkways).
  • 1966, released “Red Allen and the Kentuckians” album (County). Re-released in 2004 by Rebel Records under the title Lonesome and Blue.
  • Sons Harley, Greg, Ronnie and Neal performed and recorded together as The Allen Brothers in the early seventies.
  • 1973, released “Allengrass” album (Lemco) with his sons.
  • 1973, released “My Old Kentucky Home” album (King Bluegrass) with his sons.
  • 1975, released “Red Allen Favorites” album (King Bluegrass).
  • 1976, retired from music for several years due largely to health problems.
  • 1983, released “The Red Allen Tradition” album (Folkways).
  • 1984, formed another band, The New Kentuckians.
  • 1992, recorded Bluegrass Reunion album (Acoustic Disk) with David Grisman, Herb Pederson and Jerry Garcia which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
  • April 3, 1993, died of lung cancer.
  • 2005, was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.