Bluegrass Musician Kenny Baker Passes Away At Age 85
July 11, 2011 at 6:23 AM (PT)
KENNY BAKER, longtime member of BILL MONROE’s BLUE GRASS BOYS BAND, died FRIDAY (7/8) in NASHVILLE. The 85-year-old musician suffered a stroke earlier in the week. BAKER was known for his “long bow” sound, which made him one of Bluegrass music’s most emulated fiddle players,
“For me, BILL MONROE never sounded as good as when KENNY was playing with him,” said Country great BILL ANDERSON. “GOD, what a touch he had on the fiddle. He was just so good.”
MONROE introduced BAKER to audiences as “The greatest fiddler in Bluegrass music.” BAKER began playing fiddle at age 8 before switching to guitar. He worked for BETHLEHEM STEEL in KENTUCKY coal mines as a teenager, and he joined the NAVY during WORLD WAR II. He was transferred into a military entertainment outfit because of his guitar skills, but while in the service he began playing fiddle again, and he worked to master the fiddle after he left the NAVY.
KENNY first joined the BLUE GRASS BOYS in 1957 and embarked on a 16-year stretch with the band beginning in 1968.
Viewing will be at BURDINE FREEWILL BAPTIST CHURCH in BURDINE, KY TONIGHT (7/11) from 5p to 8p (CT). The funeral will take place at the church at 2p (CT) TOMORROW (7/12).
Read more about KENNY BAKER from THE TENNESSEAN here.