B L U E G R A S S  N E W S LETTER: April 22, 2006


Bill Monroe, Frank Wakefield, Lester Flatt, Ralph Stanley, Kenny Baker, Jimmy Martin, Larry Sparks, Sullivan Family, Tex Logan, Bob Black, Richard Greene, Jack Hicks, Joe Stuart, Joe Mullins, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Marty Stuart, Wayne Lewis, Butch Robins, David Grisman, David Nelson, Jerry Garcia, Lamar Grier, Roland White, Julia Labella  and much much more.

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Julia Labella, Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys at Bean Blossom 1982

Among all the wonderful things Bill taught/passed on to me in this life, besides music, that is dear to my heart, was learning to drive a team!  The little pony mules are "Roady" & "Mary" (found by Ralph Stanley). I painted that wagon Bill gave to me.  It may still be out at the farm.  Tater Tate's stepson, Frank Harold (our horse trainer/cattleman farm foreman) and I used to load them up with several other horses then haul them up to Bean Blossom (1980-1982), in a caravan of trucks from the Goodlettsville TN farm, with Bill!   I would give wagon rides up there and we also patrolled fence rows on horse back instead of on foot.   It was Bill's idea for me to drive the team with the Bluegrass Boys in-tow from the Old Barn at the front entrance of Bean Blossom, to the stage area and back!   I'll admit I was reluctant at first.  I could just envision Kenny's cocked hat and little brown fiddle flying backwards if the mules acted-up!   Bill insisted, "You can handle 'em".   Wayne Lewis was also in the back of the wagon.  Of course, we opted not to have Mark Hembree carry his bass!   It was one of my proudest moments knowing that Bill had every confidence, faith and trust in me doing this.  The BlueGrass Boys went along with it!   What an honor, to haul these great men around in a wagon!   Fun too!  This same little team was hauled by me and our other horse trainer (ex Hollywood stunt man/horse trainer and WENO Radio-Nashville "trick-rider") Cowboy Lane, to Ted Walker's infamous "Full Moon Bluegrass Parties" that were held in the hills south of Nashville, at midnight.  I remember having to hitch up the team myself in the moonlight because Cowboy Lane had become sick.  He died not long-after.  I gave moonlit-wagon rides and the little team never faltered.  This same team was used in Columbia TN Mule Day Parade when Bill was Grand Marshall, in 1980 I believe.  Frank drove the covered-wagon from Franklin TN to Columbia.  WSM-TV shot footage of Bill in Franklin Sq. and he rode in Columbia's lead wagon with Frank and I following behind with "Roady" & "Mary".  

Julia Labella with Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys at Bean Blossom 1982

Above Photos Courtesy of Kazuhiro Inaba.  

I had wooden bows for wagon along with a custom-made canvas wagon cover from Nashville Tent & Awning.   I also designed wagon covers for both sides, painted by some guys that painted tour buses. "Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys" Grand Ole Opry, on one side & "Muleskinner Blues" on other with the mules' likenesses etc.  When I returned to the farm to care for Bill in Feb. 1994, Frank and I searched the barns to the rafters for the that beautiful wagon cover.  It was nowhere to be found, but the colorful memories remain. Those were the days!  Julia Labella (2-24-06)    



After getting the above photos and text from my friend Julia in a private email.  After reading it I felt it would be a great addition to the newsletter and web site.  I asked for her permission to print it in the next newsletter.  Julia replied, "I do enjoy your interviews.", "Go ahead, I'd be proud for you to include in newsletter."   So here we are with another slice of history from those times.  Jim Moss 


More photos from Kazuhiro Inaba 


Adventures in Bluegrass 8 (East Hartford CT 2004):   (in Windows Media 9)


More photos here





Interview by Jim Moss

Frank: I was working at Generous Electric and I had access to all that stuff…bakelite… epoxy and fiberglass.  Jim: and that’s when you made it, so this bridge has been on there since then.  Frank: Right.. yeah.  I use to sell those bridges.   I didn’t actually sell them I actually gave them away. And they never wore out.. the one I have now you don’t even have to sand the top of it cause it don’t wear.  So then I got up here and I was going to make it sound better… So I put a coat of Spray Paint on it!  Jim:  Which color now? Frank: It was RED… ha ha ha  Jim: And you used what kind of paint? Frank: Just a regular can of spray paint..  Jim: So where did you get this from… a car store? Frank: Right! Jim: Epoxy paint? Frank: I am not sure if it was or not I don’t remember.  So I figure I’d dry it and bake and everything… I baked it for a while for about 300… well about 110 or 120 degrees something like that.. Jim: In the oven? Frank: Yeah.  (continued)»





Interview by Jim Moss

Jim: Frank... Tell me about your earliest musical instrument..  Frank: I had a guitar that I played with a case knife.  Jim: What's a case knife? Frank: A butter knife, a lot of people call it a case knife... a regular butter knife that ain't sharp. You've seen those right?  know what those are? Jim: Yeah, I have them here.  Frank: Ya do...? What do they call them out there? 

Jim: Butter knives...  Frank: Oh.. Ok.. fact that is probably what it was.

Jim: So you use to play with that?  You didn't pick up a piece of pipe or a bottle?  Frank: Nooo. We never had no bottles around... moonshiners.. 

We had moonshiners around that would buy old bottles from you.  ha ha ...

Jim: Is that right?  Was there a lot of moonshiners there back then?

Frank: Yeah, they had to have bottles of glass, they would use quart bottles, gallon bottles, milk bottles... anything that was glass. There wernt no plastic in those days... everything was glass. Jim: So what would they do just come by asking for them?  Frank: Yeah, they'd give you a nickel for a glass bottle, that was a lot of money back then. Jim: They couldn't buy the glass I guess cause...  Frank: No... they would get caught that way... have em.. put em in jail.  My first cousin he drank it, he drank a pint of that moonshine.  He died right after he drank it.  He paid for someone to drink some first.. in case something went wrong.  Jim: It's an interesting part of Americana isn't it?

Frank: Yeah it is.. them Ole billhillys  (continued)»





Interview by Jim Moss

When I was playing for the snake handlers, I heard all those people singing.  A person would get up and sing solo and a couple people would get up and sing some harmonies.  When I started hearing them I was right involved with it.  They was real billhillies.  You could call it Bluegrass because they would do songs like “You go to your synagogue and I’ll go to mine” you’ve heard of that one.  (laughs).…or was it “you go to my synagogue and I will go to my church”? (continued)»



These are an amazing and understandable insight into the world of Jimmy Martin.



Interview by Jim Moss

Jimmy Martin:  I'll tell you one thing.  When I come with him!  You listen, you put this on your web site...   When I come with Bill Monroe, he was singing "Blue Moon of Kentucky" in A.   OK?   Then every song that he and Lester had recorded in A like "Will You Be Loving Another Man", "Cabin Home On The Hill"?   I throwed it up in B natural. So his solos was in A.  Bill's was.    FOLLOW ME?!   Like Lester... Bill's singing like Lester.  Ok, when I went with him all the songs that him and Lester recorded in A, we moved them up in B and high C.  So Bill says, "well what's the use of me singing tenor to you in B and singing "Blue Moon of Kentucky" in A?"  "I am just gonna move it up in B". So there is where the high lonesome sound come from. Ya understand?  Put that on your web site!   Now any song that him (Bill Monroe) and Lester sung in G, me and him move it up in A.  Anything they done in A we do it in B.  And so Bill was singing Blue Moon Of Kentucky in A, he recorded it in A, FOLLOW ME?   (continued)»



Interview by Jim Moss

Jim Moss: The 1954 version of that band was tight.

Jimmy Martin: There ain't a band as tight right now.. There ain't a band like me and the Osborne Brothers were tight..  like me and JD Crowe and Paul Williams was tight.  Bill Emerson, that group was tight.   other words... but I kept it tight...and we lived in the same town together.. we traveled together.  Now we don't travel together, there's no family, no nuthing...  just separated.

Put this in there...  The artist his band and everything are separated... its no togetherness. And how can you play music together when your band is not with you... not nothing together.  I bet yeah I don't say 15 words....  15 words to neither one of my band in ten summers.  and that's negotiating with them.  They don't have nothing to say to me... or nothing.  They sitting around waiting till they get their money!  When they get their money there gone.   And when they come up to a festival, I'm sitting on the bus... sitting there by myself.  neither one of my bands is sitting there talking to me.  Now use to be we'd talk together.  And visit together...  be together...  but there is no togetherness anymore.   (continued)»



Interview by Jim Moss

Jimmy Martin: Well...  Then I done a few spots on the Grand Ole Opry as guest.  Then Bob Neon and the Williming Brothers, I was working through their office, they didn't have enough a power to get me guest spot on the Grand Ole Opry anymore till Bud Windell got down there.   Then I was guest... and every time I was guest there I'd encore a few times and Bud Windell told me, personally, that I would be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  That the Opry fans liked the way I entertained and play Bluegrass music, and I would be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.    BUT, some'en had come up that Mr. Windell did not make me a member.  And I did not feel hard at him.  I know what he was up against.  I think everybody knows what Mr. Windell was up against.   Cause, Roy Acuff had already told me that Bill told him, that he would resign and quit the Grand Ole Opry it they let me become a member   (continued)»





The Frank Wakefield Band 1998

Live at The Freight & Salvage, Berkeley California  

with Special Guest David Grisman







Random Notes:


We are really looking forward to our May 2006 trip to Emory Gap, TN. 

Emory Gap is where Frank was born and raised until he was about 16.  

(see schedule below)



also...   A free bit of advice from Jim Moss... 

at no benefit to this writer, who is simply a fellow viewer...

If you can see one movie DVD this month, 

see the Enron movie...  


Then ask yourself...    

Could this be happening again with gas?





The Frank Wakefield Band

The Master of the Mandolin

Frank Wakefield

Bluegrass Fiddler

Jim Moss


Jim Lewin, Guitar



--- 2006 ---


** Friday March 3, 2006, 8:00 pm **
The Freight & Salvage Coffee House
Berkeley, California



** Friday March 4-6 2006 **

3 days for 3 students intensive mando study

Frank Wakefield's Mandolin Campover



** Friday March 10, 2006, 7:30 pm **

The Performing Arts Center

Astoria, Oregon 



** Saturday March 11, 2006, 10:00 pm **
The Goodfoot
 2845 SE Stark,

Portland, Oregon



** Friday May 12, 2006, 7:00 pm **

Frank Wakefield's 

Return To Emory Gap Concert

Harriman High School Auditorium

Frank Wakefield looks forward to meeting 

many local mandolin players at this show.

-> Possible Workshop <-

Inquire Here=>:

For show or ticket info call 


Help us by posting our Show Poster 8x11 PDF

Help us by posting our Show Poster 11x17 PDF




Much More To Come...







The Frank Wakefield Band At 

The Freight & Salvage Berkeley CA 2006


Left to Right: Jim Moss, Frank Wakefield

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Left to Right: Frank Wakefield, Jim Moss, Jim Lewin

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Jim Moss, Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield, Jim Lewin

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield, Jim Moss, Jim Lewin

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield, Jim Lewin

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

 Jim Moss, Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Jim Moss, Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield, Jim Lewin

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Jim Moss, Marty Varner, Frank Wakefield

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

Frank Wakefield, Jim Moss, Marty Varner, Jim Lewin

  Camera-Person Jessica Beebe


The Frank Wakefield Band 

with guest Marty Varner 


The Freight & Salvage Berkeley CA 2006.


Camera-Person Jessica Beebe

 All Rights Reserved Mossware LLC




Great Barrington, MA 2005.

Frank Wakefield, Jim Moss, Jim Lewin, Nick Barr

Camera-Persons Anelena Poulin

 All Rights Reserved Mossware LLC

Watch Bluegrass Breakdown on WinMedia




Year 2004 Sweden & UK photos. or at

these links that reside in the upper left of each page:

More Sweden Photos1

More Sweden Photos2

More Sweden Photos3

More Sweden Photos4

More Sweden Photos5

More UK Photos1

More UK Photos2


Here are some very cool photos. Frank made his private photo collection available 

for display at his the web site.  We call it Frank Wakefield's Private Photo Collection

I need to add more photos as soon as I have a few moments of free time.



Freight & Salvage Berkeley CA USA 2004

Note: These pages are full of photos and may take a little time to download

with a 56K dial up modem.


Final Notes: 


We have the last of the Grateful Dead Records stock of The Good Ol Boys

Pistol Packin Moma CD.  This CD which is out of print has Frank Wakefield,

David Nelson, Don Reno, Chubby Wise and Pat Campbell on bass.  We have them. 

For information regarding the CD email Jim Moss at:



Great Review of Seattle FWB Show on TrueGrass:

Photos from the Pacific North West Tour: (extra large page)

Frank Wakefield's Grammy Nomination:

Sleeping Lady CD
with Jim Moss, Frank Wakefield and Bob Black
(Ask about the other Frank Wakefield and Jim Moss Video's and CD's.)

Tanyards CD, recorded in 1983
With Special Introduction
Fiddle Jim Moss,
Mandolin Jesse McReynolds,
Banjo Bob Black,
Guitar Dave Thompson.

Red Allen & Frank Wakefield Smithsonian Folkways


Read About 

The Frank Wakefield 


===================STREAMING MEDIA=====================
Encore Links

The Frank Wakefield Band,
Adventures in Bluegrass II (Real Player)



Baggot Inn, NYC November 2004

The links are on the left side just above the pictures.  These were recorded on DAT the

stereo silver mics seen on stage with us in the pictures, by one of the many fans who
follow the band to record the shows.


Bluegrass Boy Lamar Grier talks...

about his time with Bill Monroe, Part 1.


Frank Wakefield's Walk Through Time
Frank Wakefield talks about his experiences with Red Allen, Jimmy Martin,

and The Stanley Brothers.


Learning "Tanyards" From Bill Monroe then...

making the first recording of it.  (Jim Moss)



More From The Karla'graph Collection

The Sullivan Family
Bean Blossom June 2001 (Streaming Video)

----------------------- Music ------------------------------

Free mandolin lesson with Frank Wakefield
Click here to hear Frank Wakefield Teach You Catnip

Learn "Cattle In The Cane" (Jim Moss)

----------------------- Music ------------------------------
So, you think that you have been to jam sessions?
Try this one on for size, its 1957...
Joe Stuart, Joe Meadows and a few friends come over...
to your house...  hear it now on mp3.

===================STREAMING MEDIA=====================
----------------------- Interviews ------------------------------
Richard Greene: Part 1


Bob Black: (recording Kenny Baker's Dry & Dusty album 1973)


Jesse McReynolds Talks About Recording In The 1950's (Part 3)

----------------------- Interviews ------------------------------

----------------------- Photos ------------------------------

Great photos and a live recording of Kenny Baker
with Bob Black at Bean Blossom.  This was the first
time they ever played together..  It was after midnight
at Bean Blossom.

Upcoming Interviews yet to be transcribed:
"Richard Greene, Bluegrass Fiddle with Bill Monroe: Parts 1-8"
"Jimmy Martin Part 4"
"Jesse McReynolds Part 3"

"Wayne Lewis, Being one of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys Part 3"

Jim Moss Web Site a Mossware LLC Production