Starling, John


  • From Alabama. Lives in Fredericksburg, VA.
  • One of the founding members of the Seldom Scene.
  • Left the Seldom Scene in 1988 to devote himself full-time to his medical practice. He is a surgeon, specializing in ear, nose and throat ailments (or as John Duffy liked putting it, “ear, nose and wallet.”)
  • Was musical director for the award-winning “Trio” album featuring Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton.
  • 1980, released “Long Time Gone” album (Sugar Hill) with guests Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and Lowell George (of Little Feat).
  • 1982, released “Waiting on a Southern Train” album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1991, collaborated on a duet album with Carl Jackson and The Nash Ramblers (Sam Bush, Al Perkins and Emmylou Harris) which won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Recording (1992). John and Carl referred to their style of music as “Power Grass.”
  • 1992, re-joined the Seldom Scene to become its guitarist and lead singer for a second time.
  • 1994, left the Seldom Scene again; was replaced by Moondi Klein.
  • 2005, he, Ben Eldridge and Tom Gray did several shows as The Seldom Seniors.
  • 2005, formed new band Carolina Star with Mike Auldridge, Rickie Simpkins, Tom Gray and Jimmy Gaudreau. They were a part-time band.
  • 2006, retired from his medical practice.
  • 2007, released Slidin’ Home album (Rebel). The mayor of Washington DC proclaimed February 23, 2007 as John Starling and Carolina Star Day in the city (to celebrate the release of the new album).
  • 2013, reunited with other members of the Seldom Scene and special guests including Emmylou Harris for the 40th anniversary of the band’s first performance, at the Red Fox Inn in Washington D.C.
  • 2019, died at the age of 79.