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Roger Sprung

Roger Sprung

Profile:

American bluegrass banjo player.
Born August 29, 1930, in New York, New York, USA.
Died July 22, 2023, in Newtown, Connecticut, USA.

His first band was the Folksay Trio, which was founded around 1954 and included Erik Darling and Bob Carey. Their recordings were released by Stinson Records on Folksay (American Ballads And Dances Volume 2). His next band was The Shanty Boys which included Mike Cohen (brother of John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers) on guitar and Lionel Kilberg on washtub bass. They performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center several times, and recorded for Elektra.

Starting in 1950, Roger began traveling south to collect music from the Appalchian players and to attend music festivals. There he fell in with the greats of the Old Time music scene, such as Bascom Lamar Lundsford, Samantha Bumgarner, Buell Kazee, and Jean Ritchie, Bill Monroe, and Peter Rowan, among others.

In 1970, Roger won World Champion at the Union Grove Old Time Fiddler's Festival with a rendition of “Whiskey Before Breakfast” that he learned from Tommy Jackson. He attended the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention annually since 1965 as well as the Clifftop festival. Roger made many recordings, both with the Progressive Bluegrassers and with other artists. Five of his albums are on the Smithsonian-Folkways label. In 2009, he performed at the ROMP festival at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky, where he was honored as a Pioneer of Bluegrass. Roger was a featured act at a 2010 reunion show for the artists of Gerde's Folk City in New York. He also performed annually at the Galax Old Fiddler's Convention.

Sites:stockbridgeandberry.com , bluegrasstoday.com , All Music
In Groups:Roger Sprung And His Progressive Bluegrassers, The Shanty Boys
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