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http://www.byronhillmusic.com/stories.htm

GENE WOOTEN
Gene Wooten was a true musician's musician. I first met Gene in the dorm at Appalachian State University when we were students there back in 1971. His room was packed with any and every kind of bluegrass instrument you could imagine and looked like a workshop rather than a dorm room. Gene and I became friends and formed a duo together, performing for weekend off-campus square dances, clogging events, and at Beech Mountain. For years my right arm was stronger than my left, from all that rhythm guitar I played backing Gene as he would pick the fire out of any instrument he laid his hands on. Gene recognized my love for the old Carter Family style of picking and literally took me to school on the more challenging types of bluegrass music. Now and then we would pick-up an extra player. There were many locals in the hollers around Boone who could play most anything. I remember when Gene installed his first "Scruggs Key Tuner" on his banjo. We must have played "Earl's Breakdown" a hundred times that day! We used to do these gigs for the Carolina-Caribean Corporation at Beech Mountain, and I remember one night at a private party in a Chalet about 1972, the only song they wanted to hear was "Dueling Banjos". That was fine with us....better than the usual request which was for "rollin' on the river" (Proud Mary), a great song, but kind of hard for a flat-top and a banjo to pull off! Gene also introduced me to Doc Watson. On Saturday mornings Doc and his wife would go shopping in town, and Rosalie would drop Doc off at the music store. Doc would sit down on a stool and tell us to grab a guitar off the wall and pick with him. Gene was the first person I knew who headed for Nashville. A year or two later in 1978 I followed, and Gene was already in the Opry spotlight doing what he loved. Gene always did exactly what he loved. It was always about the music to Gene. Gene passed away in November of 2001.-Byron Hill, November 2001.

http://www.allmusic.com

Dobro ace Gene Wooten straddled the worlds of country and bluegrass music, playing with more than sufficient skill to excel in the latter while picking with so much emotion that he was in demand in the former, more commercial world as well, at least whenever Nashville wasn't on an anti-acoustic instrument kick. He was also a Dobro player's Dobro player, resisting pressures to double on guitar or pedal steel, technically mastering the instrument not only musically but physically. He worked off and on in Nashville for various musical instrument manufacturers in the jobs of repairing, designing, and setting up the resophonic guitars with the sweetly muffled tone known as Dobros. When it came to having their own instrument setup, some of the best Dobro players of all, such as Brother Oswald, would only go to one person: Wooten. He was a native of North Carolina where he began playing music in college. Groups consisting of student friends who would tour in the summers were his training ground, and he must have been coming up with some decent licks even then because his playing quickly came to the attention of the Nashville crowd. He came over the mountains to Tennessee in 1977 to take a Nashville job with Grand Ole Opry star Wilma Lee Cooper. From that point on, the Dobro player was on the Opry stage almost continuously. He was also a member of the innovative Osborne Brothers band for years, a perfect spot for musicians blending the more urban country sound and bluegrass. This was the first bluegrass group to try adding a drummer, as well as being innovative in the use of the Dobro in the lineup. He also toured and recorded with the excellent Country Gazette and had a popular and regular local gig with the Sidemen, a shifting group of Nashville session pros who perform weekly at the club the Station Inn. In 1994, he teamed up with fellow Dobro devils Jerry Douglas, Josh Graves, Rob Ickes, and others on the Grammy-winning recording The Great Dobro Sessions. Less-acclaimed, but equally impressive musically, was his work on the Rounder release by banjoist Alan Munde, entitled Blue Ridge Express, and focusing on the bluegrass side of things. Perhaps the group that best utilizes all of Wooten's talents are the various projects of brothers Del and Ronnie McCoury. Individually and when teamed up as the McCoury Brothers Band, they have chosen Wooten as their favorite on the Dobro and have featured him on recordings and touring lineups. One of the last recordings Wooten made, and as usual some very heartfelt playing, is on Patty Loveless' bluegrass album, Mountain Soul. Wooten died at his home in Nashville after a long bout with lung cancer. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide

http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/tludwi/NEWSPAGE.html

GENE WOOTEN DIES
Our good friend, Gene Wooten... long time member of The Osborne Brothers Band and 8 time SPBGMA Dobro Player Of The Year, quietly passed November 7, 2001 at 1:42 AM. Central time. Gene had been fighting a long term illness for the past 5+ years. We�ll miss his friendship and incredible dobro playing. God�s speed and rest in peace, Gene.

http://www.acousticguitar.com/issues/ag112/happs112.html

Bluegrass Dobro player Gene Wooten died November 7, 2001, at age 49 from complications from colon cancer. Wooten�s powerful, Josh Graves�style playing was featured in bands such as Country Gazette, the Osborne Brothers, and Wilma Lee Cooper and the Clinch Mountain Clan as well as on countless recordings. His solo album, Don�t Look Now, was released by Pinecastle Records in 1994.

http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/01/11/10365859.shtml?Element_ID=10365859

Dobro player Gene Wooten dies of cancer

By CRAIG HAVIGHURST
Staff Writer

With benefit concerts scheduled last night and tonight to defray his medical expenses, Dobro player Gene Wooten, 49, died in Centennial Medical Center early yesterday morning from complications related to lung cancer.

Over a 24-year Nashville career, Mr. Wooten was a steady band member with Opry stars Wilma Lee Cooper and the Osborne Brothers. He shared a Grammy Award in 1994 for an all-star Dobro album.

He played with the Sidemen, the house band at Nashville's famed bluegrass bar The Station Inn, for more than 10 years. He was three times named Dobro player of the year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America.

Colleagues recalled him as a musician with a straightforward, melodic style and a generous spirit.

''He was like a teacher for everyone,'' said friend and widely known mandolinist Roland White. ''He was like our guru. He just helped everybody in music. When he stepped up to mike, he was on. But there was no ego ever � ever � and that's hard to find.''

Mr. Wooten was born in Franklinton, N.C., and got serious about playing music while a student at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. He parlayed summer jobs into a touring band and ultimately moved to Nashville in 1977 when he was hired by Cooper. He played the Opry almost steadily since.

He made one solo album. His most recent high-profile job was on Patty Loveless' celebrated acoustic album, Mountain Soul. He also performed with Loveless at Fan Fair this past summer.

Tonight's benefit at the Old Time Pickin' Parlor, 121 Second Ave. N., will go on as scheduled.

''They're just going to turn it into a celebration of Gene's life,'' friend Pat Jackson said.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete last night but are being handled by Madison Funeral Home, 868-9020.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=R139726#APPEAR

All Night Gang 

Bluegrass from Nashville (1992)

Dobro, Vocals, Tenor (Vocal) 

Butch Baldassari 

Evergreen/Mandolin Music for... (1990)

Dobro 

Butch Baldassari 

Evergreen (1994)

Dobro 

Dale Ann Bradley 

East Kentucky Morning (1997)

Dobro 

Dale Ann Bradley 

Old Southern Porches (1999)

Dobro 

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir 

Oh, What a Love (1992)

Narrator 

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir 

God Is Working: Live (2000)

Technical Support 

Wilma Lee Cooper 

Classic Country Favorites (1996)

Dobro, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal) 

Larry Cordle & Lonesome... 

Murder on Music Row (1999)

Dobro 

The Country Gazette 

Strictly Instrumental (1981)

Banjo, Dobro, Producer 

The Country Gazette 

Keep on Pushing (1991)

Dobro 

The Country Gazette 

Hello Operator...This Is Country... (1991)

Dobro, Guitar, Vocals 

Mike Cross 

Best of the Funny Stuff (1994)

Dobro 

David Crow 

As the Crow Flies (1994)

Dobro 

Steve Earle & Del McCoury 

Mountain (1999)

Dobro 

Terry Eldredge 

Your Own Set of Rules (1992)

Dobro 

Terry Eldredge 

Making the Rounds (1994)

Dobro 

Fergie & The Steelheads 

Drive, Drive, Drive (1999)

Dobro, Harmony Vocals 

Jeff Foxworthy 

Ultimate Jeff Foxworthy Gift... (1996)

Dobro 

Smokey Greene 

Friendly Voice of Smokey Greene (1996)

Dobro 

Groovegrass 

Groovegrass 101 Featuring... (1998)

Dobro, Vocals (bckgr) 

Jim Hurst 

Second Son (2002)

Guitar (Resonator) 

Kazuhiro Inaba 

Dixie Dream (2000)

Dobro 

Bob & Dana Kogut 

Heart of the Mountains (1993)

Dobro 

Patty Loveless 

Mountain Soul (2001)

Dobro 

Del McCoury/Doc Watson/Mac 

Del Doc & Mac (1998)

Dobro 

Ronnie McCoury 

Heartbreak Town (2000)

Dobro 

Molasses Creek 

Citybound (2000)

Dobro 

Bill Monroe 

Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord (1991)

Assistant Engineer 

Alan Munde 

Blue Ridge Express (1994)

Dobro 

The Osborne Brothers 

When the Rose Bloom in Dixieland (1994)

Dobro 

The Osborne Brothers 

Ernest Tubb Song Folio (1995)

Dobro 

The Osborne Brothers 

Class of '96 (1996)

Dobro 

The Osborne Brothers 

Hyden (1998)

Guitar, Vocals 

Osborne Brothers 

Dayton to Knoxville: 1949-1952 (2000)

Vocals, Guitar (Resonator) 

Larry Perkins 

Touch of the Past (1993)

Dobro 

Petticoat Junction 

Hand of the Higher Power (1991)

Dobro 

Rarely Herd 

What About Him (1997)

Dobro 

Scott & Todd 

Scott & Todd Present Scam Dunk, a... (1995)

Producer 

Scott & Todd 

Scam-A-Mania '96, Vol. 5 (1996)

Producer 

Various Artists 

Scam-Busted!: Comedy Album, Vol. 6 (1997)

Producer 

Sidemen 

Almost Live at the Station Inn (1997)

Dobro, Tenor (Vocal) 

The Larry Stephenson Band 

On Fire (1998)

Guitar 

George Thacker 

Blazing a New Trail (1995)

Dobro 

Traditional Grass 

Songs of Love & Life (1995)

Dobro 

Charlie Waller & the... 

New Horizon (1992)

Dobro 

Roland White 

Trying to Get to You (1994)

Dobro, Vocals 

Wild and Blue 

Come on in and Make Yourself at... (1994)

Dobro 

Chubby Wise 

Chubby Wise in Nashville (1994)

Dobro 

Various Artists 

Great Dobro Sessions (1994)

Dobro, Photography 

Various Artists 

Top of the Hill Bluegrass (1995)

Dobro, Vocals 

Various Artists 

Totally Hot Nashville Steel Guitar (1996)

Dobro 

Various Artists 

Blue Ridge Mountain Gospel, Vol. 2 (1997)

Guitar 

Various Artists 

Blue Ridge Mountain Banjo (1997)

Dobro 

Various Artists 

O Sister! The Women's Bluegrass... (2001)

Dobro, Vocals 

Various Artists 

Classic Bluegrass From Smithsonian (2002)

Dobro 

 


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