McNeely, Larry


  • From LaFayette, Indiana.
  • Began his career playing banjo with Charlie Collins and the original Pinnacle Mountain Boys, a Tennessee group.
  • Age 17, he and Collins landed a job playing banjo and guitar respectively with Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys on the Grand Ole Opry. He lost his job with Acuff because his Scruggs-style playing didn’t fit Roy Acuff’s mountain-style music.
  • 1969, moved to Los Angeles and replaced John Hartford as Glen Campbell’s banjo player on the CBS-TV show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.”
  • He became well-known for his mastery of the chromatic or melodic-style banjo technique originated by Bill Keith.
  • 1971, released Glen Campbell Presents Larry McNeely (Capitol).
  • While in LA, he formed The Larry McNeely Band.
  • As a session musician, he worked with the Smothers Brothers, Mac Davis, Barbara Mandrell and many others. He also played banjo on the soundtrack to the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
  • 1976, released Rhapsody For Banjo album (Flying Fish).
  • 1977, released “Live at McCabe’s” (Takoma).
  • 1978, released Confederation album (Flying Fish).
  • 1980, released Power Play album (Flying Fish).
  • 1984, formed a newgrass band called Southern Manor.
  • 1985, moved back to Nashville and again joined Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys until Acuff’s death in 1992, mostly playing guitar.
  • 1992-1995, worked with The Wood Brothers at Opryland USA.
  • Retired from music and moved to North Carolina.