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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Del McCoury
Del McCoury in 2007
Background information
Birth nameDelano Floyd McCoury
Born (1939-02-01) February 1, 1939 (age 80)
York, Pennsylvania[1]
GenresBluegrass, country, old-time
Occupation(s)Singer, musician
InstrumentsGuitar, Banjo, Singer
Years active1958–present
LabelsRounder Records, McCoury Music
Associated actsDel McCoury Band, Golden State Boys, Bill Monroe, The String Cheese Incident, Steve Earle, Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman

Delano Floyd "Del" McCoury (born February 1, 1939) is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo respectively. In June 2010, he received a National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2011 he was elected into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.


McCoury has had a long career in bluegrass. Although originally hired as banjo player, he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1963,[2] with whom he first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. McCoury briefly appeared with the Golden State Boys in 1964 before taking a series of day jobs in construction and logging, while continuing to work as an amateur musician in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.[3]

In the 1980s his sons began performing with him. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined McCoury's group in early 1990s. McCoury's group toured widely throughout the US.[4] They relocated to Nashville, Tennessee as they began to attract attention. Fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Mike Bub joined in 1992. Alan Bartram joined the band as bassist in 2005. McCoury became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in October 2003.

McCoury was also one of many performers at The Clearwater Concert at Madison Square Garden on May 3, 2009. The event celebrated the 90th birthday of Pete Seeger.

McCoury has influenced a great number of bands, including Phish, with whom he has shared the stage several times,[5][6] and who have covered his songs.[7] He has also performed with The String Cheese Incident and Donna the Buffalo, and recorded with Steve Earle.[8] McCoury has covered songs by artists as diverse as The Lovin' Spoonful, Tom Petty, and Richard Thompson.[7] McCoury has appeared at festivals including Bonnaroo, High Sierra,[3] the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, The Telluride Bluegrass Festival,and the Newport Folk Festival.[9] His television appearances include Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Late Show with David Letterman.[10] Del has a very enthusiastic fan base, known as the Del-Heads.

Del McCoury Band – Old Settler's Music Festival (2013)
Del McCoury Band – Old Settler's Music Festival (2013)

In October 2009, The Del McCoury Band began offering fans recordings of their performances on USB flash drives available immediately after their concerts.[11]

In June 2010, McCoury received a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts in the field of folk and traditional arts, including a stipend of $25,000.[12]

In 2012, he joined the 11th[13] annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.


Del McCoury Band at 2nd Annual DelFest (2009)
Del McCoury Band at 2nd Annual DelFest (2009)

In 2008, Del McCoury started DelFest, an annual bluegrass festival in Cumberland, Maryland, held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds.[14] Del McCoury Band plays every night at each of the festivals.

The 5th annual DelFest occurred in May 2012,[15] and major bluegrass acts played such as Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, Railroad Earth, Bela Fleck, and Sam Bush, most of which had returned from previous years at the festival.

In previous years, acts such Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Jesse McReynolds, The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass, and Psychograss have played.


Del McCoury – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (2005)
Del McCoury – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (2005)

Solo Albums

  • 1968: Del McCoury Sings Bluegrass (Arhoolie) reissued in 1992 as I Wonder Where You Are Tonight with two previously unissued tracks
  • 1971: Livin' on the Mountain (Rebel) released in 1976
  • 1971: Collector's Special (Grassound) released in 1976
  • 1974: Our Kind of Grass (Rebel SLP-1569) released in 1978
  • 1975: Del McCoury (Rebel SLP 1542)
  • 1988: Don't Stop The Music (Rounder)

With the Del McCoury Band

As the McCoury Brothers (with Jerry McCoury)

  • 1987: The McCoury Brothers (Rounder)

With the Dixie Pals

  • 1973: High on a Mountain (Rounder)
  • 1975: Del McCoury And The Dixie Pals (Revonah R-916)
  • 1980: Live in Japan (Copper Creek)
  • 1981: Take Me To The Mountains (Leather LBG-8107) reissued in 1983 as Rebel REB 1622)
  • 1983: Best Of Del McCoury And The Dixie Pals (Rebel REB 1610)
  • 1985: Sawmill (Rebel REB 1636)
  • 1991: Classic Bluegrass (Rebel) compilation of 1974-1984 Rebel Records recordings

With Mac Wiseman and Doc Watson

Also appears on

  • 2011: Audie Blaylock and Redline - I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky: A Bill Monroe Celebration (Rural Rhythm)


Del McCoury has won 31 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year four consecutive times[16] (nine total[9]). McCoury has also won IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year four times. In 2004 he was nominated for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award for It's Just The Night, and in 2006 he won his first Grammy Award, in the same category, for The Company We Keep.[9] In 2014, McCoury was nominated and won his second Grammy Award for "The Streets of Baltimore". McCoury received the Bluegrass Star Award, presented by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, in 2015. The award is bestowed upon bluegrass artists who do an exemplary job of advancing traditional bluegrass music and bringing it to new audiences while preserving its character and heritage.[17]

International Bluegrass Music Association Awards

Del McCoury Band, 2007
Del McCoury Band, 2007

Notes and references

  1. ^ NEA National Heritage Fellowships Biography
  2. ^ Kurt Wolff; Orla Duane (2000). Country Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides. pp. 234–. ISBN 978-1-85828-534-4.
  3. ^ a b GACTV December 5, 2005, accessed February 11, 2006 Archived January 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Kingsbury, Paul, The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press, 1998. p. 335
  5. ^ [1], accessed February 11, 2006
  6. ^ [2], accessed February 11, 2006
  7. ^ a b [3] Archived February 16, 2005, at the Wayback Machine, accessed February 11, 2006
  8. ^ National Public Radio, Morning Edition June 20, 2005 broadcast, accessed February 11, 2006
  9. ^ a b c [4], accessed February 11, 2006 Archived July 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ [5], accessed February 11, 2006. Archived July 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ NEA Will Honor 18 Artists
  13. ^ "11th Annual IMA Judges. Independent Music Awards. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  14. ^ DelFest website accessed May 9, 2009
  15. ^ DelFest website Retrieved June 6, 2012
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 9, 2006. Retrieved February 11, 2006.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), accessed February 11, 2006
  17. ^ "Bluegrass Heritage Foundation official website". 2010. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  18. ^ a b c d The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. 4 January 2012. pp. 620–. ISBN 978-0-19-992083-9.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 March 2019, at 00:39
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