Stover, Don


  • From Ameagle, West Virginia. Also lived in Boston and in the Baltimore, MD area.
  • An early banjo player who influenced Bill Keith, Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck, Danny Barnes, many others.
  • Began learning to play 3-finger style banjo after hearing Earl Scruggs in 1945.
  • He was a coal miner when he began performing with the Lilly Brothers (Everett and Bea) who were also from West Virginia. He was a featured artist with the Lilly Brothers for many years. They appeared together as The Lilly Brothers with Don Stover.
  • First band: The Coal River Boys.
  • 1952, began an 18-year stint with the Lilly Brothers at Hillbilly Ranch in downtown Boston, playing seven nights a week. They were originally called the Confederate Mountaineers.
  • 1965, worked also with Bill Harrell and the Virginians.
  • 1968, worked dates with Doc Watson and Tex Logan. Performed with them at the Olympics in Mexico City.
  • 1970, moved back to West Virginia.
  • 1972, released Things in Life album (Rounder). Don is composer of the song Things in Life, which has been covered by numerous bluegrass artists.
  • 1978-1990, worked with Bill Clifton, Red Rector, Jimmy Gaudreau and other musicians. Played the World’s Fair in Knoxville in 1982.
  • 1994, had surgery for a cancerous brain tumor.
  • 1996, died at the age of 68.
  • 2008, was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.