08 May 2018

Benny Martin, born 8 May 1928

Benjamin Edward 'Benny' Martin, one of the most influential fiddle players of the first generation of bluegrass, was born ninety years ago today, on 8 May 1928, in Sparta, TN, and died in Nashville on 13 Mar. 2001. If you've heard Joost van Es of 4 Wheel Drive playing and singing 'Me and my fiddle' - that was Benny's first recorded composition, released about the time of his first Grand Ole Opry appearance while still in his teens.

An account of Benny Martin's life, written by Gary Reid for the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, is here. His own account of how he came to hear of the death of his friend and rival Calvin Scott 'Scotty' Stoneman appears in Roni Stoneman's book Pressing on.

Benny Martin (left) with Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, and Curly Seckler, c.1952-3 (photo from Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame archives)

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At 6:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandfather taught Benny Martin how to play fiddle. That's what Mr. Martin told my mother anyway.


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