- From Monticello, Kentucky. Also lived in California and Virginia.
- Began playing banjo at age 12. After learning the Scruggs style, he performed with several groups including Carl Story and Hylo Brown.
- 1956, after his discharge from the Army (Korean war), he married and moved to Los Angeles, California.
- 1963, worked with the Golden State Boys in Los Angeles with Vern and Rex Gosdin. The group was also called the Blue Diamond Boys and later, the Hillmen (with Chris Hillman on mandolin).
- 1963, released “5 String Banjo with 12 String Guitar” album (Crescendo) with backing musicians Billy Strange, LeRoy McNees, Chris Hillman, Vern Gosdin, Rex Gosdin (bass) and Hal Blaine (drums).
- 1964-1973, played banjo for the TV Series The Beverly Hillbillies.
- 1974, formed The Bluegrass Cardinals with his 15-year-old son David (guitar), Randy Graham (mandolin) and Bill Bryson (bass). This group performed together in various configurations for 23 years.
- 1997, retired from music.
- 2016, passed away at age 83.