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This web site is sponsored and maintained by Rod Moag, author of "The History of Early Bluegrass in Texas" which appeared in The Journal of Texas Music History, Vol. 4, no. 2, Fall 2004, pps. 22-48.

Due to size limitations, the complete article cannot be reproduced on this web site. Print copies may be available from the editor, Dr. Gary Hartman, History Dept., Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666.

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Tom Uhr and Bill Parvin, 1951 "Promo pic" at WOAI Radio Tower, San Antonio, TX (Tom Uhr) Tom and Bill sold these photos at personal appearances at drive-in theaters, etc. This is the first known instance of the bluegrass style five-string banjo used in public performances in TX. Like other country acts at the time, Tom and Bill included some Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs songs in their repertoire. On other country material Tom played guitar and Bill played mandolin. A high school teacher and coach by profession, Tom Uhr has headed his award-winning bluegrass band, The Shady Grove Ramblers, since 1966.

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The first full band to specialize in Bill Monroe style music in The Lone Star State was The Mayfield Brothers. From a West Texas ranch family near Dimmitt, Edd-guitar, Herb-mandolin, and Smoky-fiddle sang and played as much like Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys as possible, though they had no banjo. Former Monroe employee Bill Myrick joined them and they became stars of the Saturday night KSEL Western Jamboree in Lubbock. Shown here, the Mayfields are backing guest vocalist Anne Jones at KSEL in 1949 or 1950. L-R Bill Myrick, Anne Jones, Smoky Mayfield and Edd Mayfield (Herb not shown). They were invited to join the Louisiana Hayride when Bill Monroe called Edd to play guitar in the Bluegrass Boys. Edd did three stints with the Father of bluegrass, participating in some 20 Monroe recordings. During his last hitch Edd died of leukemia in 1958. He inspired many younger players including Northern urban singer and Bluegrasss Boy (1965-67), Peter Rowan. Herb Mayfield still plays in jam sessions today.

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Rod Moag's contribution to Texas bluegrass.