04 May 2019

John Starling, 26 Mar. 1940-2 May 2019 (updated)

The BIB learns with great regret of the death of John Lewis Starling, the original lead singer of the Seldom Scene, one of the most influential bands in bluegrass history. The album cover photo shows him at extreme left, with the rest of the band's founder members: Ben Eldridge, Mike Auldridge, Tom Gray, John Duffey. An appreciation by David Morris appeared yesterday on Bluegrass Today; further tributes are expected. John Starling, along with the other founder members, was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

The BIB editor writes:

In June 1974 a major interview by Pat Mahoney with all the members of the Seldom Scene appeared in Bluegrass Unlimited. It's one of the best band interviews I've read: the musicians' words comprise 99% of it, often in discussion among themselves rather than responding to the interviewer. Among the points that emerged was their view of the Scene as a band using bluegrass as a method rather than as a fixed tradition. John Starling played a vital role in establishing this aspect of the band's character, bringing in new material drawn from a wider range of musical sources.

Update 27 June: 'John Starling remembered', a major feature by Richard Thompson on Bluegrass Today, includes many memories from the bluegrass world, notably on the care with which John Starling developed his singing.

Update 3 July: A tribute by Claire Lynch is now on Bluegrass Today, also posted by Richard Thompson. The July 2019 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited includes an obituary of John Starling by Gary reid, and a feature on the Seldom Scene by Derek Halsey.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home