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Luke Thompson & Cecil Thompson

Both of these brothers lay out in the ’50s to determine bluegrass throughout the state of Louisiana, an activity you can easily compare to wanting to plant a yard within a patch where there’s already a complete veggie garden blooming. Between New Orleans rock and roll and R&B, Cajun and zydeco music, and so-called Dixieland jazz, there is hardly enough space for the mandolin participant to golf swing his throat around, aside from a complete bluegrass music group. Luke and Cecil Thompson had been born within a sawmill city between Baton Rouge and north of New Orleans, Luke in 1928 and Cecil in 1932. It had been a musical category of Scottish, British, and Irish descent who acquired wandered right down to bayou nation in the Carolinas. Grandfather performed old-time fiddle, and family would sometimes sit down around keeping period with his music by tapping privately of his device with straws. Both Luke and Cecil began on guitars but turned to other equipment. Luke found fiddle and a tenor banjo, which then traded to some other boy to get a mandolin. The brothers’ debut combo got a nation direction, Luke known as to sing inside a Hank Williams setting. Cecil and Expenses Harris distributed the rhythm acoustic guitar duties, and Cecil quickly turned to five-string banjo. Nation music was all these were really thinking about until 1 day whenever a friend arrived over raving in regards to a record by Expenses Monroe entitled “Molly and Tenbrooks.” No one was actually sure the type of music this is, but they certainly recognized the audio from the banjo. They loved what they noticed, and with Cecil on banjo and Luke on mandolin, bluegrass music was the highway to mind down. But there is just one little bump in the street: No one in Louisiana was playing bluegrass. There is a banjo participant called Jim Smoak who experienced certainly trained with his all, but by the first ’50s, he previously hightailed up north and become a gig with Monroe himself. Cecil became a member of the Coast Safeguard rather than undertake such a task, but Luke offered it a chance, piecing together a five-piece combo by adding Dewey Edwards on fiddle; V.J. Meyers on electric guitar; J.C. Meyers doubling on electric guitar and four-string banjo; and Luke’s wife, Hazel Thompson, on upright bass. The group started playing a number of gigs, including displays at institutions and community dances, nonetheless it was not a straightforward lifestyle. One anecdote of the typically unsatisfactory gig contains the music group turning up to visit a huge crowd gathering, and then discover out the present have been canceled as well as the individuals were there to get a basketball video game. The ego trounce stoppeth not really there, because in the ensuing debate about why the group got never received phrase from the cancellation, it had been revealed how the booker got believed he was finding a different band, and got relayed the news headlines to them, never to the Thompson clothing, and it had been this additional band that might be rescheduled. No recordings can be found of the hapless clothing, which went beneath the name from the Green Valley Males. Luke utilized this name for numerous bands until 1968, when he discovered there was currently another bluegrass group using the same name beneath the leadership from the appetizing Carl Sauceman. Luke transformed his group’s name towards the Green Valley Cut-Ups. Being truly a Louisiana bluegrass guy was not to become, however. Luke going north to get a railroad work in Cincinnati, finding bluegrass players such as for example banjoist Jesse Kidd, vocalist Dave Woolum, and, most of all, the youthful banjo sensation Sonny Osborne. Luke produced his first studio room documenting in the framework of the collaborations, support Woolum with Kidd on the edition of “Maple for the Hill” for the moderate Superb label. Osborne’s banjo selecting was presented prominently on the other hand. The next quit around the musical tour was Kentucky, where there is rumored to become something of the musical goldrush taking place. Luke wasn’t the just fellow to give up his day work beneath the spell of so-called easy cash choosing bluegrass, and predictably was also not really the only man virtually starving to loss of life weeks after turning up in the so-called bluegrass condition. Luke and his pal Kidd made a decision to find out if there have been any improvements back Louisiana. They got so far as Knoxville where they found several gigs, resulting in an invitation from previous Flatt & Scruggs sideman Kentucky Slim to focus on a tv program with him. If they had been rear-ended with a Tennessee condition trooper on the path to the train station one night time, they required it as an omen and continuing their trip south. Soon after getting back, he was reunited with sibling Cecil as well as the Meyers brothers, creating some sort of loose band of players who worked well together in blend and match circumstances. In 1959, Cecil, the Meyers brothers, and Dewey Edwards nabbed an area on the popular Louisiana Hayride display broadcast over Shreveport’s KWKH. This is a deep south, Opry-style display that experienced recently been obtaining attention due to appearances with the youthful, hip-shaking Elvis Presley. It had been good publicity and resulted in some gigs occasionally, but as the music group was not producing records, it had been not highlighted with any great regularity on this program. The brothers started endeavoring to rectify this example. In 1960, the Thompsons had been joined up with by Harold Bell and Clay Hudson to record an individual in the Hammond label, entitled “I’m Shed Between your Falling Snow.” It had been an excellent record, but an unbiased one rather than well-promoted. The music group continued performing gigs, like the Pearl River Valley Jamboree, and picked up an area around the South Louisiana Hayride display out of Ponchatoula. The music group continued to try out on this display for another 3 years, but without Cecil, who drawn the aged “I’m engaged and getting married and giving up the music business” regular, a decision he’d stick to for another 12 years. Luke continuing gigging with Johnny Conn on acoustic guitar, Wayne McKond on bass, Norman Barnum changing Cecil on banjo, and Kay Silvery on fiddle. Luke as well as the music group had been dumped, or jumped, from the Hayride when it started changing to a honky tonk format. In 1968, Luke continuing what was becoming a lifetime commitment to building bluegrass in his house condition by assisting originate the Aged South Jamboree, a every week nation & western present in Walker, LA. Luke Thompson & the Green Valley Cut-Ups, offering Allen Shelton on banjo, became the show’s home bluegrass music group for just two years. In 1968, Luke set up the 1st bluegrass event in the condition. The first event presented Expenses Monroe as the headliner, certainly a proper move because the grand older man hadn’t just sparked Luke’s desire for bluegrass like a lad, but experienced also provided him much suggestions about owning a bluegrass event down the road when they fulfilled on a specialist basis. Through the entire ’60s, Luke continuing on without Cecil, documenting an recording entitled Bluegrass Folk Music within the Hammond label, with Texan Jim Oertling as presented vocalist. And in a single incredible night time that he’d remember, Luke actually changed an ailing Expenses Monroe as front side man having a lineup from the Bluegrass Kids, including Del McCoury on acoustic guitar, Expenses Keith on banjo, and Enoch Sullivan on fiddle. A contact came from out of nowhere in 1969 that became a major profession booster for Luke. It had been from one from the producers from the movie THE FINAL from the Cell Hot Pictures, a film predicated on the Tennessee Williams enjoy. Area of the film was to become shot in the Baton Rouge region where Luke was living and he and his music group had been employed for a little bit part. One of is own music, an instrumental edition of “I’ll Live My Depressed Life By itself,” finished up being found in the film. Motivated, Luke returned into the studio room to record a remake of “I’m Shed Between your Falling Snow,” this time around with an all-star music group lineup offering Shelton, Travis Stewart on acoustic guitar, Tootie Williams on bass, Ed Shelton performing, and last but not at all least, a soldier stationed through the close by Fort Polk Military base from the name of Byron Berline on fiddle. This participant would continue to be probably one of the most popular from the intensifying bluegrass musicians, actually appearing on the Rolling Rocks’ recording. Despite all this celebrity talent, the brand new version from the music made even much less of a direct effect than the unique one acquired. Through the past due ’70s, Luke continuing to gig at concerts, night clubs, and celebrations with different variations of his Green Valley Cut-Ups. During this time period, with bluegrass picking right up a new youthful pursuing, the musically long-lost sibling Cecil returned choosing on the part-time basis. Luke begun to improve his abilities as a electric guitar builder, an art he had started learning after rebuilding a electric guitar a man’s wife acquired damaged over his mind — the person, not really Luke. He became known for his handmade mandolins, valued by players such as for example Herschel Sizemore and Buck Light. He in addition has constructed a banjo for Cecil, without doubt a bribe to avoid shedding out of music once again.

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