29 March 2022

Gone before

On 4 March the BIB reported with great regret the recent death of William Dermot 'Bill' Colleran (right) of Pittsburgh, PA, known throughout the bluegrass world as 'Mac Martin'. It was a pleasure to receive yesterday, as a comment on the 4 Mar. post, a message from Mac's daughter Ms Jeanne Colleran, confirming his Galway ancestry: 'My dad, Mac Martin, has his roots in Ireland. His parents Nellie (O'Toole) and James Colleran were both born in Galway.'
The BIB also learns with regret from Richard Thompson's obituary on Bluegrass Today of the death on Sunday 27 Mar. of Bobby Atkins (b. 1933) of North Carolina, banjo-player and bandleader, who recorded over fifty albums in the course of a career in bluegrass and country music that began in 1951. He and Chet Atkins were second cousins. The photo on the left is taken from the cover of his 1985 album Good times can't last. In August of that year a five-page article on him by Art Menius was published in Bluegrass Unlimited; it can now be read here. The final words in the article are his: 'Bluegrass music is to me something that you can't fake. It comes from right here, your heart, your feelings, your soul. You've got to have that feeling.'

© Richard Hawkins

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