05 April 2021

Happy birthday, Bill Clifton

Bill Clifton was born William August Marburg in Riderwood, MD, on 5 April 1931. The image on the left is from the cover of Bill C. Malone's biography Bill Clifton: America's bluegrass ambassador to the world (2016), published by the University of Illinois Press.

The Press's blurb begins: 'Pioneer, pathfinder, and proponent - the journey of an unlikely bluegrass icon', and calls him 'the most atypical of bluegrass artists'. This means (among other things) that his achievements are so varied that his career cannot be easily summed up. Perhaps the central factor is his warmth and ability to communicate, form connections, and bring people together. He was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Happy birthday, Bill Clifton!

BIB readers who can recall the early 1960s may have seen Bill Clifton, with Ethan Signer of the Charles River Valley Boys on mandolin, playing a daytime show in the Grafton Cinema in Dublin.

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