The Kentucky Colonels
The late guitarist Clarence White and his brothers Eric and Roland started the Kentucky Colonels in the mid-1950s in the Los Angeles area. Playing Progressive Bluegrass long before there was a name for it, the prodigiously talented group won numerous contests and appeared on several radio and television programs (including appearing as themselves on The Andy Griffith Show). The band recorded a number of albums in the early 1960s and their acclaim landed them a spot at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival. Much of the focus of the band has been placed on the guitar playing of Clarence White; he was a follower of Doc Watson's style, and he took that dazzlingly fast, percussively syncopated playing to a level that remains the standard today. After the band broke up in 1965, Clarence White went on to join the Byrds and became a guitar superstar before being fatally struck by a car in 1973. Brother Roland White is an acclaimed singer and mandolin player who is still in demand in the worlds of Bluegrass and country music.