Shelton, Allen


  • From Reidsville, North Carolina.
  • Legendary banjo player who began his career with Mac Wiseman in the early fifties, also with Jim Eanes and the Shenandoah Valley Boys.
  • Best known for his work with Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys (1959-1966). He recorded 89 tracks with them during this period.
  • Left music to work as a pipe fitter at a nuclear power plant for the Tennessee Valley Authority—primarily to earn enough money to put his four kids through college. Returned to work again with Jim and Jesse in 1983 (playing the five-string Dobro™) and then retired from music again in 1989.
  • 1977, released Shelton Special album (Rounder).
  • 2004, came out of retirement to play with Jesse McReynolds.
  • 2009, died of Leukemia at the age of 73.
  • 2010, an album was released featuring Shelton’s most popular tunes At His Best (Gusto).
  • 2018, was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.