23 May 2019

David Freeman at 80

Yesterday was the 80th birthday of David Freeman, founder of County Records and County Sales, and a major force in the spread of old-time music and bluegrass since the 1960s. It was marked by a major feature on Bluegrass Today by Richard Thompson, 'Happy 80th to Dave Freeman!', including tributes from many leading figures in the bluegrass world. The image (left) shows the plaque marking his induction into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 2002.

Ample details of his career are given in the feature and in his Hall of Fame memoir by Fred Bartenstein. The latter includes the following words on the start of County Sales: 'His first customers were in the British Isles, readers of the magazine Country News and Views.' As BIB readers may be aware, the two editors of the magazine were Charles Newman of Lowestoft, Suffolk, and Rodney McElrea of Omagh, Co. Tyrone - both now, regrettably, deceased.

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