13 July 2021

Byron Berline, 6 July 1944-10 July 2021

The sad news comes of the death on Saturday 10 July of master fiddler Byron Berline, from complications following a stroke. The great breadth and variety of his achievements is indicated in Wikipedia; Heinz Walliser's page about him, using substantially the same text, also gives photos and nine videos. David Morris's tribute on Bluegrass Today gives four videos, including one of his TV appearance on 'Star Trek: the next generation', as an Enterprise crew member playing chamber music. His personal story A fiddler's diary (2013), written with Jane Frost, is published by New Forums Press and available from Amazon.co.uk.

Fans in Ireland were able to see and hear this phenomenal musician in person when Berline, Crary, & Hickman visited Ireland in the 1980s, first as the original trio and next after the addition of Steve Spurgin on bass.

PS: While a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, Byron took part in composing the tune 'Gold rush', which has become a jam session favourite as a two-part tune. He demonstrates all three parts beautifully on YouTube.

©Richard Hawkins

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At 7:47 pm, Blogger Barry R. Willis said...

He was everybody's friend. I can still hear/see him say, "You can't croon bluegrass." He was a great man and significantly added to the history of bluegrass.


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