• Stephen Moore and G.T. Keplinger Release John Duffey's Bluegrass Life

    John Duffey's Bluegrass Life: Featuring The Country Gentlemen, Seldom Scene and Washington, D.C.

    Authors Stephen Moore and G.T. Keplinger have announced the release of John Duffey's Bluegrass Life: Featuring The Country Gentlemen, Seldom Scene and Washington, D.C., now available in hardcover, paperback and eBook. 430 pages.

    Through his work as a founding member of these two pioneering bands, John Duffey urbanized bluegrass and introduced it to a broad new audience.

    John's quotes from a four-hour, never-before-published 1984 interview are italicized throughout and provide the book's foundation.

    The book begins with a profile of his father, John Humbird Duffey Sr, Metropolitan Opera star and chronicles Duffey's earliest exposure to music, listening to opera on the radio with his dad. Childhood friends Bill Blackburn, Bill Emerson, and Sterling Ellsworth serve up memories of Duffey from the 2nd grade through high school.

    Accounts of Duffey's early musical career provide an overview of John's first bands, leading up to how The Country Gentlemen were formed following a horrific car accident. The Country Gentlemen's Bill Emerson, Charlie Waller, Eddie Adcock, and Tom Gray are profiled and interviewed.

    For the first time, John's biological daughter, Ginger "Sam" Allred, speaks candidly about her relationship with both Duffey, and her father, Pete Kuykendall. Duffey discusses why he quit The Country Gentlemen, setting up the complete story of The Seldom Scene, as told by Duffey, John Starling, Ben Eldridge, Dave Auldridge, Mike Auldridge, Phil Rosenthal, and Tom Gray.

    More than 50 rare or never-before-seen photographs create a fascinating portrait of the complex, iconoclastic entertainer. Gary Oelze, the owner of the Birchmere music club where the Scene became stars, share his memories of John.

    Sam Bush, Jonathan Edwards, Pete Kennedy, Martha Adcock, Akira Otsuka, Dick Cerri, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Gaudreau, Bryan Bowers, Peter "Dr. Banjo" Wernick, Tom Travis, Cliff Waldron, and others are among the many voices that contribute informative and compelling interviews.

    The book's narrative is supplemented with a 43-page Discography that provides track listings, recording dates, producers, composers, and musicians for every time Duffey entered a recording studio. The book includes a Duffey genealogy and index.

    About the Authors

    Stephen Moore has coauthored four books: Helen Hayes: A Bio-Bibliography; Johnny Holliday: From Rock to Jock; Hoop Tales: Maryland Terrapins and Cerphe's Up. A research technologist at Georgetown University, he plays in the Maryland rock cover band The Razors.

    G.T. Keplinger is a long-time bluegrass fan, historian, and archivist. His MFA thesis project was a documentary on The Seldom Scene. An Associate Professor of film at Stevenson University, he lives in Towson, MD.

    Additional Information

    Comments 20 Comments
    1. SteveMoore's Avatar
      SteveMoore -
      Thank you Mandolin Cafe and Scott for support and spreading the word on our publication. My co-author, G.T. and I welcome all Duffey fans to join our "John Duffey's Bluegrass Life" Facebook page to stay current on book events. https://www.facebook.com/groups/328799410950074/
    1. SteveMoore's Avatar
      SteveMoore -
      Thank you Mandolin Cafe and Scott for supporting our book.
    1. SteveMoore's Avatar
      SteveMoore -
      Sorry for the redundant post. Steve
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      I had my wife order my hardcover copy a few hours ago! Can't wait for this read on one of my mandolin/best tenor range ever hero's! Should be interesting. This book is long overdue, thanks to the writers and café and all involved.
    1. Steve Sorensen's Avatar
      Steve Sorensen -
      So excited to read this book!
      Steve
    1. Timbofood's Avatar
      Timbofood -
      Just ordered my copy for delivery Tuesday!
    1. aircooled's Avatar
      aircooled -
      In about 1963 I had just bought my first Gibson mando, and I went into a record store looking around for anything bluegrass. I bought the Gents' "500 Miles", downmarket album, because it had the word 'Bluegrass' on the cover, and it was $0.98...best buck I ever spent. John Duffy became my first bluegrass hero that day.

      I'm off now to hit Amazon!
    1. SteveMoore's Avatar
      SteveMoore -
      Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
      Just ordered my copy for delivery Tuesday!
      Thank you !!
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      Yep again can't wait, mine should be here Monday by 11AM! If my year old will allow it, I'll read that in about 2 nights before bed!
    1. Timbofood's Avatar
      Timbofood -
      Starting to get interested in arrival time for my copy.
      Says it’s “out for delivery” by 9:00 PM!
    1. tbown's Avatar
      tbown -
      Thanks for publishing this! What a great read (so far) and a great tribute to one of my early mandolin heros!

      Thanks,
      Todd
    1. SteveMoore's Avatar
      SteveMoore -
      Quote Originally Posted by tbown View Post
      Thanks for publishing this! What a great read (so far) and a great tribute to one of my early mandolin heros!

      Thanks,
      Todd

      Thanks, Everyone
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      Finally got it in the mail yesterday and read about half last night, its great, written with quality! And love all the other peoples quotes and takes on John! This is a must have for any Duffey fan! Well done.
    1. SteveMoore's Avatar
      SteveMoore -
      Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
      Finally got it in the mail yesterday and read about half last night, its great, written with quality! And love all the other peoples quotes and takes on John! This is a must have for any Duffey fan! Well done.
      Thanks so much William for the lovely endorsement.
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      It's a great book, but will take me longer to finish it than expected as my Dad drove up about 900 miles to stay for two weeks so unless I get some free time, we usually just watch stupid movies late and play loads of music! Plus we're going to work on a few of my mandolins. So unfortunately the book is on hold.
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      First online review has just been posted according to the author. Thought it well worth sharing here for those interested.
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      In the Washington Post today, relating to the new book:

      Remembering John Duffey, who forged a new bluegrass in Washington
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      It was/is a great read, I'll read it many times again as that's how I am! I'm a huge Duffey fan! Just like the "true" stories of the old west or true crime-I read the same thing over and over, many times and always get some new perspective on things! Great job on this book, Loved it!
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      Here's a plug for the This Day in History resource. All things Duffey.
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      Thanks for the above links, seeing all reminds me of what a talent John was-what am I saying, he still is, no one can sing like him or play like him-a true original GREAT! Now if I can just get my hands on one of Big John's mandolins, I'd be in HOG heaven! I've heard of the F-2 or 4 he put a long neck on and used the step from the "Cellar Door" and that was from an old 200 year old cargo ship? and there is the one that was in the white he had with a large peg head-50's Gibson F-5 or 12? In the one photo of the Folkway album?
      I heard he made some F-5 tops but how to even find that or prove what it is that is the ? "Some old Day" My Uncle has the redone F-7 that was used and is in many old photographs and that's beat but sweet!