Happy Birthday Del McCoury: Performing Live At Bean Blossom Festival In 2016

See Del and company on bluegrass classics like "High On A Mountain Top," "Cold Rain & Snow," "Whitehouse Blues" and more.

By Nate Todd Feb 1, 2022 12:50 pm PST

Bluegrass legend Del McCoury celebrates his 83rd birthday today. Born on February 1, 1939, McCoury is a living link to fellow bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe. Del performed in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in the early 1960s where Monroe recognized the power of Del’s golden tenor and switched him from banjo to guitar. But Del didn’t quit his day job, working logging and construction gigs while continuing to play music. A blue-collar aesthetic colors McCoury’s extensive and highly influential body of work.

Beginning in the 1980s, Del’s sons Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, on mandolin and banjo respectively, began performing with him in the Del McCoury Band. The subsequent decades saw Del cementing his status as a bluegrass legend himself. While he performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Monroe in the ‘60s, Del became a member in 2003 and began stacking up Grammy nods and wins along with nine IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards among many other accolades.

On June 14, 2016, the Del McCoury Band — Del, Ronnie and Rob along with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram — performed at the 50th annual Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival held at a park named after McCoury’s mentor, The Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground in Bean Blossom, Indiana.

The Del McCoury Band kicked off the concert with “Traveling Teardrop Blues” and filled their 24-song set and double encore with bluegrass and country classics like “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” “Kentucky Waltz,” “Dark Hollow,” “High On A Mountain Top,” “Cold Rain And Snow,” “Whitehouse Blues” and more. Del and company also delivered their own entries into the bluegrass canon like “Sweet Appalachia” along with covers from The Lovin’ Spoonful and Richard Thompson among others.

To celebrate Del McCoury’s birthday, watch the Del McCoury Band perform at Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in 2016:


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Del McCoury Band (See 80 videos)

Setlist

Set: Travelin’ Teardrop Blues, The Bluest Man in Town, Bluegrass Breakdown, With Body And Soul, Limehouse Blues, Nashville Cats, Cotton Eyed Joe, Kentucky Waltz, Sweet Appalachia, Same Kind Of Crazy, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, Rawhide, Dark Hollow, Gone But Not Forgotten, I Need More Time, Cheek To Cheek With The Blues, High On A Mountain Top, Workin’ On A Building, Smoking Gun, Cold Rain And Snow, All Aboard

Encore: Brakeman’s Blues, Roll On Buddy, Roll On, White House Blues

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