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Thread: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

  1. #1

    Default Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    I was pretty surprised to find video of the Bass player of The Original Bluegrass Band.

    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Now that's real "Bluegrass" and only two chords too...

    Willie

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Roots boys, always go back to the beginning! Thanks for sharing that one!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    It was early enough that Scruggs still had the tin box over his tuners to hide how they worked. That would be before my awareness of bluegrass much less Flatt & Scruggs.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    1956 - 7 years before i heard my first Bluegrass music in '63. I had a lot of catching up to do over the next 3 years, & a hell of a lot of hard work in teaching myself how to play banjo well enough to form a band,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Inspired by Fretbear's offering,i had a look at several other F & S clips. I thought to myself ''I could listen to this all day'', then it occured to me,that in the past i have,many,many times over. It's the Bluegrass i listened to & tried to copy when i was learning - could there be anything better ??.

    Watching this one,i wondered why Curly Seckler didn't play a break on the mandolin !. A couple of times i thought that he was going to,but the fiddle took over,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Lester once mentioned that Curley wasn`t much of a mandolin player but he sure held it nice...I have heard Curley take some breaks on mandolin but they were mostly just double stops and not single notes, the old time way of playing mandolin , much like Buzz Busby did...Curley was actually a darn good guitar player but Lester wanted Curly`s near perfect tenor singing so he ask him to play mandolin...

    When someone mentions "Bluegrass" this is what they are talking about...and this is the way I still play it, `tain`t no other way and still call it "Bluegrass"

    Willie

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  12. #8

    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Here is why Earl is taking a seat for that number:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Scruggs

    In 1955, Scruggs received word that his mother, Lula, had suffered a stroke and heart attack in North Carolina. The only flight available from Nashville involved such a series of connecting cities that it was not feasible to fly. Scruggs and his wife, with sons Gary and Randy, decided to drive all night from Nashville to see her when they were involved in an automobile accident just east of Knoxville about 3 a.m. October 2. Their car was hit by a drunk driver, a Ft. Campbell soldier who had pulled out from a side road into their path, then fled the scene after the collision. The children were not hurt, but Earl suffered a fractured pelvis and dislocations of both hips which would plague him for years, and Louise had been thrown into the windshield receiving multiple lacerations.They were flown to a Nashville Hospital where Scruggs remained hospitalized for about two months. He received thousands of letters from well-wishers. He returned to music in January 1956, about four months after the injury, but after working a week or so, one of the hips collapsed, and he returned to the hospital for a metal hip to be implanted. Seven years later, the other hip required similar surgery. The first metal hip lasted for some 40 years, but eventually failed, requiring a total hip replacement in October 1996, when he was age 72. While still in the recovery room after this hip operation, Scruggs suffered a heart attackó he was returned to the operating room later the same day for quintuple coronary bypass surgery. Despite the dire circumstances, he recovered uneventfully and returned to his musical career.
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Earl was also involved in a plane crash at one time as i've just re-read about in the Wiki article linked in Fretbear's post. A lucky man to have survived at all without any injuries that would have ended his musical career !. I also loved Earl's guitar playing as much as his banjo playing,
    Ivan


    PS - Back when i was still learning banjo,Bluegrass LP's were in short supply. I heard of the ''C & W Trailblazers'' EP's & sent off for one. I got it & it's the one with ''I'll Never Shed Another Tear'' on it. I spent the next few weeks learning how to play Earl's break.
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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    I remember Earl playing guitar on Gospel numbers. On a TV series, all the Boys removed their hats for these. Sometimes Earl would place his left ear against the top bout of his guitar.




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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    I think Curly Seckler was a better mandolin player than he gets credit for. I've been slowly reading his biography, Foggy Mountain Troubadour, and I didn't realize that for a short time he was hired by Charlie Monroe, basically to be Bill Monroe's replacement. He was even called "Smilin' Bill," just to give Charlie some of that ol' Monroe Brothers mojo.

    I recommend the book (though it's taking me forever to finish; I keep putting it down), as a picture of what country musicians went through in the late '40's and early '50's; the gypsy life from one radio station to another, the constant churning of band personnel, the cheap hotels and scrounged meals. After Seckler's first wife ran off, he had to put his kids in an orphanage for a period, because he couldn't give them a home life or properly support them. Hooking on with Flatt & Scruggs was the best thing that happened to him, since they had more stable work, record contracts, TV exposure, and better income.

    The Foggy Mountain Boys made an obvious effort not to sound like Bill Monroe clones, and had three other lead instruments: Warren's fiddle, Graves' Dobro, and of course Scruggs' banjo. So Seckler's breaks were few and far between. His singing was always his strongest suit with the band, and later with Flatt's Nashville Grass, where Roland White and later Marty Stuart took over the mandolin role.
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Interesting thread but it sure got OT pretty fast and permanent!
    Bernie
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    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Interesting thread but it sure got OT pretty fast and permanent!
    Gee and for once, I DIDN’T do it!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Interesting thread but it sure got OT pretty fast and permanent!
    Well, to get back on topic: Watts played with Flatt & Scruggs 1948-50, having left Monroe about the time they did, joining their new Foggy Mountain Boys. These were the "Mercury years" when quite a few of the great early F & S cuts were recorded. He left to join Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboys in 1950, and went on to stints with Hank Snow, Bill Carlisle, Ferlin Husky, Patsy Cline through the 1950's and '60's, ending up in Hank Williams Jr.'s band in 1968. He died in 1971.

    I'd guess he was a fill-in bass player for their TV appearance, which looks like mid-1950's..
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Allen, I do enjoy reading a story to the conclusion!

    Oh, and Thank you for getting things back on track!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    I read somewhere that Uncle Dave Macon gave out stage names for performers at the Opry. Is that where "Cedric Rainwater" came from?
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    I read somewhere that Uncle Dave Macon gave out stage names for performers at the Opry. Is that where "Cedric Rainwater" came from?
    Back in the day when bands put on a complete "stage show," band members often played characters in comedy skits interspersed with the music. Many of the better-known bluegrass and old-time country "side men" acquired nicknames based on their roles in these skits:

    Burkett "Buck" Graves, Flatt & Scruggs Dobro player - "Uncle Josh"
    English Tullock, Flat & Scruggs bassist - "Cousin Jake"
    Beecher Kirby, Roy Acuff Dobro player - "Bashful Brother Oswald"
    Don Reno, banjoist, Reno & Smiley - "Chicken Hotrod"
    Red Smiley, guitarist, Reno & Smiley - "Pansy Hotrod" (in drag, or at least in a dress)
    John Palmer, bassist, Reno & Smiley - "Mutt Highpockets"
    Dave Akeman, banjo player with Bill Monroe - "Stringbean"
    Charles Elza, Flatt & Scruggs bassist/dancer - "Kentucky Slim" (Elza reportedly weighed 275)

    etc., etc. Watts's "Cedric Rainwater" nickname came from his comedy role. Well into the 1950's, some of the comedy was done in blackface; "Jamup & Honey" (Bunny Biggs and Lee David Wilds) were an example; they headlined large "tent shows," and Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys joined their troupe in 1942, before forming his own "tent show."

    Some of the remains of this comedy persisted long after the "designated comedian" role disappeared from bluegrass; Hot Rize's alter ego "Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers" could be a more modern example. Bass players were often given the comedy roles, perhaps because mandolinists aren't inherently funny.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    From HonketyHank - "I read somewhere that Uncle Dave Macon gave out stage names for performers at the Opry. Is that where "Cedric Rainwater" came from ?''. The stage names of many of the bands on the 'Opry,were given by 'The Solemn Ol' Judge' George D.Hay - according to what Bill Monroe himself tells in the DVD - ''Bill Monroe - Father of Bluegrass''.

    As Allen correctly states,the whole idea of the 'silly names' concept harks back to the time of the old minstrel shows. It was a sort of 'what you did' thing back then,& a comedy routine within a show was pretty typical. Praise the good Lord that faded out !. It was something that you did that folk maybe expected back then,& something that you did to get noticed. Bill Monroe even organised his own Baseball team in order to attract folk to his concerts - i'd have gone for the Baseball alone !,
    Ivan
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  31. #19

    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Check out Lester's choice of open F major, thumb on the bottom;
    The C is right there and no Bb to even worry about.
    Josh playing out of F like that with no capo.
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

  32. #20
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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Quote Originally Posted by Fretbear View Post
    Check out Lester's choice of open F major, thumb on the bottom;
    The C is right there and no Bb to even worry about.
    Josh playing out of F like that with no capo.
    What exactly are you referring to? On My Mind is done in the key of Db, using C forms and tuning a halfstep sharp. And I believe that's the only two chord song linked to in this thread.

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    Default Re: Howard Cedric Rainwater Watts

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    Now that's real "Bluegrass" and only two chords too...

    Willie
    And a very nice example of the groove they achieved in medium and medium up tempos. Another example would be I'm Waiting to Hear You Call Me Darling.

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