THE KENTUCKY COLONELS

1962

An album was recorded in September 1962 "New Sounds Of Bluegrass America" and the group changed their name from THE COUNTRY BOYS to the KENTUCKY COLONELS. Joe Maphis came up with the name, their old name being unsuitable as it was also the name of Mac Wiseman's band. Gordon Terry joined the sessions on fiddle. The album featured material written by LeRoy Mack (one song by Billy Ray Lathum) and was produced by Ralph and Carter Stanley.

New Sound Of Bluegrass America THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - album
- THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: The New Sound Of Bluegrass America (Briar 109)
Produced by Ralph & Carter Stanley.
With Clarence White, Roger Bush, Billy Ray Lathum & LeRoy Mack.
Guest Gordon Terry.

Tracks:
Side A: Three Finger Blues / I'll Be Coming Home Tomorrow / If You're Ever Gonna Love Me
Banjo Picking Fever / I Might Take You Back Again / Memphis Special / Cabin In The Sky
Side B: LeRoy's Ramble / Howdy Hoss / Won't You Call Me Darling / Rainbow Shining Somewhere
420 Special / Just Joshing / To Prove My Love For You

Bonus tracks on CD: Just Like Old Times / Buck's Run / I Hear Him Calling

2007 Sierra Records released this album with additional three bonus tracks from the recording seessions.

Joe Maphis writes in the liner notes to "The New Sound Of Bluegrass America":

The Kentucky Colonels

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
LeRoy, Roger, Billy Ray & Clarence

Contributing in large measure to the surging popularity of Bluegrass was a converted California foursome, the KENTUCKY COLONELS, who centered their efforts in Hollywood. By name, Clarence White, LeRoy Mack, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush, they represent Bluegrass at its best! They have appeared on several West Coast shows including Andy Griffith and Jerry Lewis spectaculars. They were the fist Bluegrass group to play in Hollywood's famous "Ash Grove" and "Troubadour". At the present time they are regular members witih Rosie and me on our "Big W Roundup"TV show in Bakersfield.
The Jerry Lewis Show

JERRY LEWIS SHOW feat.
The Kentucky Colonels (Clarence back left)

I feel certain you will enjoy this first Bria album by the KENTUCKY COLONELS". If you are a lover of good country music, you will cherish the thrilling "new sound of Bluegrass America".
".

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS got on a regular TV show in Bakersfield, California, called "Big D Round Up" which was hosted by Joe Maphis. They also appeared on a 1962 Jerry Lewis Special in color on NBC while Roland was in the army. (They actually are in the background as part of a group with Joe and Rosalee Maphis and Bonnie Owens backing up a comedy skit for Jerry as he plays a country singer in a talent contest.)
Note: You can see a short black and white video clip from that show on the CD release of the "Rose Lee & Joe Maphis with the Kentucky Colonels featuring Clarence White" available from Sierra Records!

Clarence's playing had changed and developed greatly in the seventeen months of Roland's absence between 1961 and 1963. He started experimenting with the guitar as a lead instrument. It wasn't the usual bluegrass-approved bass-runs-and-rhythm method, it was subtle but quietly outrageous, combining melodic leads with neat partial chords and inspired passing notes and it was scarily fast.

1962 Clarence recorded - with Roger Bush on rhythm guitar - instrumentals which were recorded on a home tape recorder and released by Sierra Records as "Clarence White: 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals". These recordings reveal Clarence's youthful brilliance and originality as a flatpick guitarist (and contains one mandolin medley by Clarence).

33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumental CLARENCE WHITE - CD
- CLARENCE WHITE: 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals (Sierra 26023-2)
With Clarence White & Roger Bush.

Tracks:
Wildwood Flower / Master's Bouquet / Bury Me Beneath The Willow / Black Mountain Rag / Billy In The Low Ground
I'm So Happy / He Will Set Your Fields On Fire / Sugarfoot Rag / Nine Pound Hammer / Cripple Creek
Under The Double Eagle / Farewell Blues / I Am A Pilgrim / Country Boy Rock & Roll / Forsaken Love
False Hearted Lover / Black Jack Davy / Banks Of The Ohio / Jimmy Brown The Newsboy / Sally Goodin / Buckin' Mule
Shady Grove / Pike County Breakdown / Old Joe Clark / Arkansas Traveller / Footprints In The Snow / In The Pines
Journey's End / Pretty Polly / Cotton Eyed Joe / Clinch Mountain Backstep / Randy Lynn Rag / Mandolin Medley

Order CD here!

2009 Roland White released a book about Clarence's style. This book/CD set presents Clarence's early but fully realized acoustic guitar style, as demonstrated in the recordings he made at home in 1962. These songs were included in the  "33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals" CD.  The book isn't a survey of his entire career but rather focuses on the core elements of his early style.

CLARENCE WHITE BOOK Clarence White book
- CLARENCE WHITE: The Essential Clarence White book (Roland White)
with Clarence White, Roland White and Missy Raines.

This book will teach you the elements of Clarence's style, and vastly improve your approach to bluegrass guitar.
It contains 14 tunes in notation and tablature, with variations, transcribed accurately from Clarence's playing.
The tunes are accompanied by written instruction, and there are slow and fast backup tracks on Disc 2
so you can practice with Roland White on guitar and Missy Raines on bass.
Disc 1 contains Clarence's renditions, plus Windows Media format video of Clarence playing two tunes.
The book also has a biographical section by Roland, and a lot of great pictures (102 pages).

Order here!

1963

At the age of 19 his playing was extremely sophisticated and musically exuberant. You can hear it on the album "New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass" which was recorded 1963 in Los Angeles. The record features the twin banjo playing of Eric Weissberg and Marhsall Brickman, whom Clarence had met at the "Ash Grove" when they played there with their group, "The Tarriers". Clarence plays backup and takes lead breaks on several cuts. His exquisitley syncopated crosspicking style shines throughout the album.
In the liner notes is written: "Deserving of special mention are two musicians whose talent and creative ability had no small part in the execution of this recrord. Gordon Terry, fiddle; and Clarence White, guitar."

Gordon Terry also played fiddle on "THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: The New Sound Of Bluegrass America".
The album was also released as the soundtrack "Dueling Banjos" (Warner Bros) with that title cut added to cash in on the popularity of the theme from the movie "Deliverance" with Burt Reynolds.

New Dimensions ...

Original album

NEW DIMENSIONS IN BANJO & BLUEGRASS - album with Clarence White Deliverence

Deliverance soundtrack

- ERIC WEISSBERG, MARSHALL BRICKMAN & COMPANY: New Dimensions In Banjo & Bluegrass (Elektra 238)
With Eric Weissberg, Marshall Brickman, Clarence White & Gordon Terry.

Tracks:
Side A: Shuckin' The Corn / Pony Exress / No Title Yet Blues / Old Joe Clark / Eight More Miles To Louisville
Farewell Blues / LIttle Maggie / Black Rock Turnpike / Earl's Breakdown
Side B: Reuben's Train / Riding The Waves / Fire On The Mountain / Eight Of January / Bugle Call Rag
Hard Ain't It Hard / Mountain Dew / Buffalo Gals / Rawhide

Note: The song "Dueling Banjos" from the soundtrack CD is not from the original "New Deminsions In Banjo & Bluegrass" album. "Dueling Banjos" was recorded by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell!

LeRoy Mack left the group in May 1963 and left the reminding group again as a three piece band.

The Kentucky Colonels

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
Roland, Roger, Clarence, Bobby & Billy Ray

For Roland's return from the Army (in September 1963), Marge Seeger and Ed Pearl had booked an eastern tour for THE KENTUCKY COLONELS in late 1963, playing such places as " The Exodus" in Denver, "The Retort" in Detroit and the "Club 47", "The Broadside" in Cambridge, "The Ontario Place" in Washington, D.C., "The Second Fret" in Philadelphia and the "Unicorn Coffeehouse" in Boston. New member - for a few month - of THE KENTUCKY COLONELS was Bobby Slone (from Pikesville, Kentucky) on fiddle.

The song "A Girl Named Ruth" taped at the "Second Fret" in Philadelphia appeared on the release "The Kentucky Colonels: Livin In The Past".

Also in September 1963, THE KENTUCKY COLONELS appeared at the opening ceremony of the "Bakersfield Civic Auditiorium". "... the date is September 12th, 1963 and the place is the newly-built Bakersfield Civic Auditorium ... as well as backing-up Johnny Bond for a song "Blue Ridge Mountain Blues", THE COLONELS cut it up with some humor and fine picking and singing on the traditional "Green Corn"". Those songs appear on the album "Country Music Hootenannay" released on the "Capitol label".
Bakersfield, California, has long been the Country Music Center of the West, and its prestige and immportance was growing every day. One of its foremost figures is the well-liked TV favorite Cousin Herb Henson. Cousin Herb was celebrating the tenth anniversary of his "Trading Post" TV show, and every big name artist who could possibly get there headed for Bakersfield to make the occasion a really big event. Two big shows with a total audience of 6000 people!

COUNTRY MUSIC HOOTENANNY - album with The Kentucky Colonels Country Music Hootenanny
- VARIOUS ARTISTS: Country Music Hootenanny (Capitol 2009)
Produced by Ken Nelson.
With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush & Bobby Slone.
Other artists: Buck Owens, Bob Morris, Rose Maddox, Buddy Cagle, Johnny Bond, Joe & Rose Lee Maphis
Tommy Collins, Glen Campbell, Jean Shepard, Roy Nichols, Merle Travis, Roy Clark, Cousin Herb Henson

Tracks with the Kentucky Colonels:
The Kentucky Colonels: Green Corn
Johnny Bond feat. The Kentucky Colonels: Blue Ridge Mountain Blues

The Colonels also appeared at "Gerde's Folk City" in New York City for a week in November 1963. The song "Why Mothers Milk Is Better", from that appearance, was released on the Sierra release "The Kentucky Colonels: Livin In The Past".

1964

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS started to recorded an album titled "Appalachian Swing" which was released in 1964 after Bobby Slone had left the group in spring 1964 (he joined "J.D. Crowe & The New South"). LeRoy Mack returned as a session musican to play the dobro for a few songs on that album. Using a combination of flatpicking, fingerpicking with his middle and ring fingers, and crosspicking, Clarence introduced a brand new vocabulary to the flat-top steel-string guitar.
The album was re-released several times, last CD re-release with additional bonus tracks from the "Tut Taylor, Roland & Clarence White: Dobro Country" album.

Appalachian Swing! THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - album
- THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Appalachian Swing! (World Pacific 1821)
With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Bobby Slone.
Guest: LeRoy Mack

Tracks:
Side A: Clinch Mountain Backstep / Nine Pound Hammer / Listen To The Mocking Bird / Wild Bill Jones
Billy In The Lowground / Lee Highway Blues
Side B: I Am A Pilgrim / The Prisoner's Song / Sally Goodin / Faded Love / John Henry / Flat Fork

Bonus tracks on "S&P Records" CD re-release (from Tut Taylor: Dobro Country with Clarence White):
Pickin' Flat / A Fool Such As I / Black Ridge Ramble

Order CD here!

On March 14, 1964 Clarence White married Susi Hackney.

Clarence is featured on recordings from Spring of 1964, made within weeks of the now famous "Appalachian Swing" sessions. Released 2006 on the Rural Rhythm/Sierra Records CD "Flatpick", the disc closes with a 1967 performance of Jimmy Bryant's "Laughing Guitar" and finally, one of Clarence's last recordings before his death in 1973, the studio recording of "Alabama Jubilee" that appeared on the long out of print Sierra vinyl LP, "Silver Meteor".

Flatpick CLARENCE WHTIE - CD
- CLARENCE WHITE: Flatpick (Rural Rhythm/Sierra Records RHY 1024)
With Clarence White.

Tracks:
John Henry Blues / Reno ride / Salt Creek / Kickin' Mule / Big Sandy river / Sheik of Araby
Black mountain blues (rag) & Soldier's joy / Durham reel / Barfoot Nellie / Weeping willow
Ragtime Annie / When you're smiling / Columbus stockade blues / Texas gales & Blackberry rag
Silver bells / San Antone rose / Listen to the mockingbird

Bonus tracks:
Laughing guitar (1967)
Alabama Jubilee (1973 studio recording)

Order CD here!

The KENTUCKY COLONELS toured again 1964. On March 25, they appeared at the "2nd Annual UCLA Folk Festival" in Los Angeles. Two cuts "He Said If I Be Lifted Up" & "Angel Of Death" appeared on the Sierra release "The Kentucky Colonels: Livin In The Past". Shortly after that appearance Bobby Slone left the group.

Note: On 12. August 2013 Bobby Slone passed away. The fiddler with the Kentucky Colonels from early 1963 including their first tour of the East Coast in the Fall of 1963 through the Spring of 1964 with the recording of the one of the great bluegrass albums of all time, "The Kentucky Colonels-Appalachian Swing!". Later, Bobby played with the Golden State Boys here in Los Angeles that included Vern Gosdin and later Del McCoury.  Bobby would return to his Kentucky home in the mid 60s and continued his long career with "JD Crowe and the New South" a band that included over the years, Tony Rice, Keith Whitley, Ricky Scaggs, just to name a few.

In March 1964 Tut Taylor recorded with the help of Clarence & Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Victor Gaskin on bass the album "Tut Taylor, Clarence and Roland White: Dobro Country".

TUT TAYLOR, ROLAND & CLARENCE WHITE - album Dobro Country
- TUT TAYLOR, ROLAND & CLARENCE WHITE: Dobro Country (World Pacific 1829)
Produced by Richard Bock
With Tut Taylor, Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Victor Gaskin

Tracks:
Side A: Freight Train / Dobro Country / Pickin' Flat / Lonesome Dobro / Hang Your Head In Shame / Steel Guitar Rag
Side B: Just Because / A Fool Such As I / The Sinking Of The Ruben James / Frankie And Johnny / Nobody's Darling But Mine
Black Ridge Ramble

Note: "Dobro Country" released on CD 2008 - available from Sierra Records.

Louise Scruggs (Mrs. Earl Scruggs) writes in the liner notes: "This record puts us smack dab in the middle of Dobro Country surrounded by the artistry of Tut Taylor and Clarence and Roland White of the Kentucky Colonels. Clarence and Roland along with Billy Ray were temporarily borrowed for the occasion. Together they produced one of the best "ole timey" sounds I have heard. It all began at the UCLA Folk Festival in March 1964, where Tut met the White brothers. They played together for the first time at the festival and found that it was such an effective combination that three days later this album was cut."

Tut Taylor remembers in Etsuo Eito's "Clarence White Chronicles":

"World Pacific decided to do another album about a year or so later. They flew me back out there and up comes Clarence and Roland and Billy Ray to record with me. I was astounded that they were to be a part of it. World Pacific decided to call it "Dobro Country", Tut Taylor with Clarence and Roland White. Which suited me immensely. I was out there about a week orso and spent a lot of time (all of it when we were not in the studio). They were playing every night at a little club "The Cobblestone" as the Kentucky Colonels. I had my tape recorder and taped most of the sets.
During the breaks Clarence would be picking some and I taped some of this also. I still have this tape. After listening to Clarence play , I finally got up enough nerve to ask him if he play with me on my dobro tunes. I told him that I would give him 20 Dollar if he would play with me. He said he would be glad to do that. We got together at his apartment (I think) and did it. I was so excited and so selfish that I wanted to take all the lead and not give Clarence any breaks. He had such rythm going that I guess I didn't want to break the spell. However he did take a break on one of my tunes and I must say it was terrific. We each had a track so it turned out to be a good tape. It may well be one of the clearest tapes of his rhythm. However I don't know this to be true. All I can tell you is here is this kinda small and short young fella with the biggest sounding prettiest Martin guitar that I had ever seen and I had it all on My tape.
".

Tut Taylor released those tapes many years later as "Tut & Clarence: Flatpicking".

Flatpicking TUT TAYLOR & CLARENCE WHITE - CD
- TUT & CLARENCE: Flatpicking (Tutlee 1003)
With Tut Taylor & Clarence White

Tracks:
Picking Peanuts / False Hearted Lover / Happy Dobro / Sweet Georgia Brown / Panhandle Rag / What A Friend
All Smiles Tonight / Dobro Twisted / Playing Around / Lonesome Dobro / Tennessee Dulcimer Works / Sleepy Head
Maggie / Wabash Cannonball / Dobro Country / Little Green Pill / Steel Guitar Blues / Faded Love / Careless Love
Hawaiian Sunset / Happy Pickers / Sweet Picking Time In Toomsboro, GA / Picking Flat / Turn Around

Order CD here!

On April 16, Clarence and Roland did a private session which was recorded by Campbell Coe and Sandy Rothman at Campbell Coe's apartment in Berkeley, California.

Kentucky Colonels

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
Billy Ray, Roger, Clarence & Roland

April 17, THE KENTUCKY COLONELS (now Clarence, Roland, Billy Ray & Roger) appeared at "The Cabale" in Berkeley. Four songs from that appearance "Barfoot Nellie", "Hard Hearted", "Jordan" & "Shady Grove", were released on the Sierra release "The Kentucky Colonels: Livin In The Past".

April 19, Clarence and Sandy Rothman had a private guitar session at Brooks Otis' house in Wayside, California. Two cuts "Reno Ride" and "Durham's Bull" were released on the Rounder Records album "The Kentucky Colonels: On Stage".

Sandy Rothman remembers in Etsuo Eito's Clarence White Chronicles: "In April 1964, the Colonels came to Berkeley again. They were booked at a folk club called "The Cabale" for four nights. It was the most exciting week in my life at the time. I spent almost every day and every night with them.

Kentucky Colonels

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
Billy Ray & Roger
seated: Roland & Clarence

Unfortunately, very few people knew who they were (or what bluegrass was) and so the audiences were always quite small. When I listen to the tapes from those nights,I'm shocked to hear just a few of us clapping in the audience, to such great music. The tapes were made by an old friend Brooks Adams Otis, who introduced a lot of us to bluegrass in the early days in the Bay Area. He had been in the Army with Roland White and he knew a lot about bluegrass and played guitar and banjo. (He now owns a music store and plays country swing music in Arcata, California.) Brooks lived in Woodside (near Palo Alto) at the time, and he sometimes had music parties at his house; one time, later in 1964 (November), he had the Colonels at his house for a party. Jerry Garcia and I were there, along with many other friends. Brooks made a tape of me and Clarence playing two guitars in his upstairs bedroom, sitting on the edge of his bed. Many years later, he gave his tapes to the owners of Rounder Records and they released one or two tunes from that session on one of their records of Clarence. Brooks Adams Otis and John Delgatto are two people who know a lot about Clarence, Roland and the Kentucky Colonels.
On the last day of the four-day gig at the Cabale, Clarence and Roland came over to Campbell Coe's apartment near Telegraph Avenue and Campbell made a tape of them playing together. I played backup guitar. Campbell owned an original Selmer Macaferri guitar and played some of Django Reinhardt's style so Clarence played "Sheik of Araby" and asked Campbell to play a guitar break ... (That Macaferri is now owned by Bob Wilson, a swing guitarist in the Bay Area who plays with Rick Shubb.) That was another great opportunity for me to see Clarence play lots of lead guitar very close-up.
"

In May the Colonels started an Eastern tour.
Sandy Rothman remembers: "During this time we heard about the upcoming tour for the Colonels - they were booked at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island and they were planning to drive across the country in their station wagon (with the bass on top). Jerry Garcia and I had an idea to drive along with them in another car, and they said OK. We left from Los Angeles (in Jerry's white '61 Corvair) and stopped for a few days in Missouri, where Clarence and Roland had some relatives (French Canadians) in the Ozarks. We had lots of parties and played a lot of music together."

From July 2 - 4, the Colonels appeared at the "Club 47" in Cambridge and from July 23 - 26, 1964 they appeard at the "Newport Folk Festival" in Rhode Island. THE KENTUCKY COLONELS peformed at several of the afternoon workshops, a Sunday morning gospel concert, and follwed Pete Seeger at the Sunday evening concert. Vanguard Records documents those performances on their release "The Kentucky Colonels: Long Journey Home". It contains several songs never before recorded by the group, although they frequently performed them live, and is highlighted by six breathtaking acoustic guitar duets by Clarence White and Doc Watson. On a few tracks Bill Keith joined the Colonels.

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - CD Long Journey Home
- THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Long Journey Home (Vanguard 77004-2)
With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush, Doc Watson & Bill Keith.

Tracks:
Roll On Buddy / Bill Cheatham / There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone / Shuckin' The Corn / A Beautiful Life
Get Down On Your Knees And Pray / Over In The Glory Land / Sally Ann / Breakeman's Blues / Soldier's Joy
Listen To The Mockingbird / Farewell Blues / Lonesome Road Blues / Beaumont Rag / Footprints In The Snow
Long Journey Home / In The Pines / Chicken Reel / Old Hickory / Auld Lang Syne / Nola / Flat Fork / Shady Grove

at Newport Folk Festival

Clarence, Billy Ray, Roger & Roland

In early August the Colonels appeared at the "Foghorn Club" in Baltimore and later they did a jam session with Jim Kweskin's Jug Band at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusets. For a week they appeared at the "Gaslight" in New York City, where David Grisman joined the group in place of Roland White (Roland's wife was having a baby).

"Shikata Records" released a CD 2003 with the title "Bush, Lathum & White - from the Kentucky Colonels: Rare Performance".
In the liner notes Billy Ray Lathum writes:
"Recorded at Leon & Wilma Houston's home in Chicago, IL in the fall of 1964. This taping was done at a rehearsal for an upcoming five-night gig at a renowned folk club in Chicago.
At that time, Roland White was absent from our group, The Kentucky Colonels. We, however, had an obligation to fulfill concert commitments, so the three of us - Clarence, Roger and I - decided to rehearse by ourselves and appear as a threesome at the gigs.
This is a very SPECIAL and RARE recording, because Clarence and I had to play to cover Roland's absence. Clarence played leads on everything. He even took some of my banjo licks, played them his way and they worked!
"

2011 Sierra Records released those recordings (without the bonus tracks) as Bush, Lathum & White : Legendary Kentucky Colonels' Trio:

Kentucky Colonels' Trio

Sierra release

BUSH, LATHUM & WHITE - CD Rare Performance

Shikata release

- BUSH, LATHUM & WHITE From The Kentucky Colonels: Rare Performance (Shikata 1005)
Produced by Billy Ray Lathum.
With Clarence White, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush.

Tracks:
Shuckin' The Corn / Chug-A-Lug / She's No Angel / Salty Dog / Just Stay Around / Dixie Breakdown / Mockin' Banjo
Once More / Green Corn / Rubin's Train / Don't Let Your Deal Go Down / Soldier's Joy / Black Eyed Susie
Sally Ann / Cuberland Gap / Shady Grove

Bonus Tracks only on Shikata release: (with Roland White & Bobby Slone on fiddle - who joined the group from fall 1963 to spring 1964)
Chicken Real / Little Darlin' Pal Of Mine / The Crawdad Song / Pike County Breakdown / Soldier's Joy / Arkansas Traveler

The group returned to California Fall 1964 and appeared at "Fugazi Hall" in the North Beach district of San Fransicso on November 13 and at the "Comedia Theatre" in Palo Alto, California on November 15. Jerry Garcia introduced the band that night. One song "Sheik Of Araby" from that night was released by Sierra Records on "The Kentucky Colonels: Livin In The Past" and another song "Bending The Strings" on the Rounder release "The Kentucky Colonels: On Stage". Later that month the group appeared at "The Cabale" in Berkeley, California.

1965

On January 15, 1965 THE KENTUCKY COLONELS appeared at the "Ark Club" in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

"Double Barrel Records" released parts of that three hour show 1999 as "The Kentucky Colonels: Live In Stereo". This is one of very few stereo recordings of the COLONELS.

Live In Stereo KENTUCKY COLONELS - CD
- THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Live In Stereo (Double Barrell 1001)
With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush

Tracks:
Train 45 / Green Corn / Shuckin' The Corn / Dark Hollow / Saw Creek / All The Good Times / Soldier's Joy
You Won't Be Satisfied / Alabama Jubilee / Columbus Stockade / Mockin' Banjo / Workin' On A Building / Prisoner's Song
It Ain't Gonna Rain No More / Johnson's Ole Gray Mule / Fair And Tender Ladies / Bluegrass Breakdown
Long Journey Home / Howdy Hoss / Shady Grove

Kentucky Colonels

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
Scotty, Billy Ray, Roland, Roger & Clarence

In February 1965, Ed Pearl of the Ash Grove introduced them to a fiddler named Scotty Stoneman. Scotty was a five times national fiddle champion.

Alex Tottle writes about Scotty Stoneman: "All Scott ever did was pay dues. Some people thought he was great - others thought he was crazy - for Scott was a visionary creating in a time that wasn't right to complete the vision.
His fiddle now resides in the "Country Music Hall Of Fame". That fiddle! He'd play it without a chinrest (usually considered necessary to hold the thing); he'd break strings - so ferocious was his attack - and continue playing on those left. Sounds leaped out while the bow shuffled; the player contorted, seat on his forehead and blood in his face.
"

Farmer Brown movie

from movie poster

THE KENTUCKY COLONELS appeared as musicians in the movie "The Farmer's Other Daughter" (other titles "Farm Girl" and "Haystack Hooker"). They appear on stage (as THE KENTUCKY COLONELS) with country singer Ernest Ashworth performing three songs with him.

  • Pushed In A Corner
  • Love Has Come My Way
  • Talk Back Tremblin' Lips

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS are Clarence, Roland, Roger and Billy Ray and additional Richard Greene on acoustic guitar and Donavan Cotton on drums.

    Here are some color pics from the movie!

    Kentucky Colonels

    Roland, Clarence & Billy Ray

    The Kentucky Colonels

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS

    Roland & Clarence

    Roland & Clarence

    The movie was directed by John Hayes.
    The story: Farmer Brown wants to sell his daughter June to the dastardly Cyrus P. Barksnapper in order to save his farm. But Jim Huckleberry would like to do some plowing with June himself. To help, he applies for financial aid, but the government screws up thinking he requested foreign aid.

    Kentucky Colonels

    Cotton / Greene / Bush / Ashworth
    Roland / Clarence / Billy Ray

    Kentucky Colonels

    Ernest Ashworth &
    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS

    Kentucky Colonels

    Cotton / Greene / Bush / Ashworth
    R. White / Clarence White / Lathum

    Note: Sierra Records has include this performance of the Kentucky Colonels on the Clarence White DVD released 2005.

    The title song "Ballad Of Farmer Brown" was released as a single for the "World Pacific" label.

    KC single THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - single Movie poster
    - THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Ballad Of Farmer Brown / For Lovin' You (World Pacific 427)
    Produced by Richard Bock
    With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush, Scotty Stoneman ... .

    Note: "Ballad Of Farmer Brown" written by Don Robertson/Jack Spiers
    "For Lovin' You" written by Gordon Lightfoot

    John Delgatto remembers: "Actually there were two takes of "Ballad Of Farmer Brown" - there was a slight difference. Both tracks were not actually used in the film itself, the Colonels made a separate recording for the movie with Richard Greene on fiddle.  I never could get the story what happen to Scotty during this time."

    1965 the KENTUCKY COLONELS appeared a few times at the "Ash Grove".

    Sierra Records released a performance of this line-up with the title: "Scotty Stoneman with the Kentucky Colonels: Live in L.A.".

    The recordings were made in August 1965 at the "Cobblestone Club" in North Hollywood and 27th March 1965 at the "Ash Grove", Hollywood, California.
    This album was re-released on CD with bonus tracks again by Sierra Records.

    SCOTTY STONEMAN with THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - CD Live In L.A.
    - SCOTTY STONEMAN with THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Live In L.A. (Sierra 1017)
    With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush & Scotty Stoneman.

    Tracks:
    Side A: Oklahoma Stomp / Once A Day / Eight Of January / Any Damn Thing / Down Yonder
    Side B: Sally Goodin / A Wound Time Can't Erase / Cherockee Waltz / Cacklin' Hen / Goodnight Irene

    Bonus tracks on CD release:
    Lee Highway Blues / Shuckin The Corn / Listen To The Mockingbird / Orange Blossom Special

    Order CD here!

    Other recordings with Scotty Stoneman appeared on the Rounder Records release:

    On Stage KENTUCKY COLONELS - album
    - THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: On Stage (Rounder 0199)
    With Clarence White, Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush & Scotty Stoneman.
    Guest Sandy Rothman.

    Tracks:
    Recorded in Wayside, California on April 19, 1964 (Clarence White & Sandy Rothman):
    Reno Ride / Durham's Bull

    Recorded at the "Comedian Theater" on November 15, 1964
    (Clarence & Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush):
    Bending The Strings

    Recorded at the "Ash Grove" between March 27 and April 3, 1965
    (Clarence & Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush & Scotty Stoneman):
    John Hardy / Used To Be / Shackles And Chains / Mountain Dew / I Might Take You Back Again / Bluegrass Breakdown
    Flop Eared Mule / I Wonder How The Old Folks Are At Home / Over In The Glory Land / Ocean Of Diamonds

    Tracks with Scotty Stoneman also appeared on the Rounder Records release "The Kentucky Colonels: 1965-1967 - featuring Roland and Clarence White" and on the great compilation album, released by Briar Records and later re-released on CD with bonus tracks by Sierra Records "Livin' In The Past". "Livin' In The Past" has tracks from 1961, THE COUNTRY BOYS years, to 1965, THE KENTUCKY COLONELS with Scotty Stoneman.

    Livin' In The Past

    Briar album

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - CD Livin' In The Past

    Sierra CD

    - THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Livin' In The Past (Sierra 67003)

    Tracks:
    Recorded September 25, 1961 (as THE COUNTRY BOYS) at the "Ash Grove"
    (Clarence & Roland White, LeRoy Mack, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush):
    Memphis Special / Journey's End (A Life Of Sorrow)

    Recorded fall of 1963 at the "Second Fret" in Philadelphia
    (Roger Bush & Billy Ray Lathum):
    A Girl Named Ruth / Why Mothers Milk Is Better

    Recorded March 25, 1964 at the "Ash Grove"
    Clarence & Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush & Bobby Slone
    He Said If I Be Lifted Up / Angle Of Death

    Recorded April 17, 1964 at &quto;The Cabale", Berkeley
    (Clarence & Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush):
    Barefoot Nellie

    Recorded April 18, 1964 at "The Cabale" Berkeley
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush & Billy Ray Lathum):
    Hard Hearted / Jordan - Shady Grove

    Recorded April 19, 1964 at "The Cabale" Berkeley
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush & Billy Ray Lathum):
    I Am A Pilgrim (bonus track on CD)

    Recorded November 15, 1964 at "Comedia Theatre, Palo Alto, CA
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush & Billy Ray Lathum):
    Sheik Of Araby

    Recorded November 20, 1964 at "The Cabale", Berkeley
    (Clarence & Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush):
    Shuckin' The Corn

    Recorded March 27, 1965 at the "Ash Grove"
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush, Billy Ray Lathum & Scotty Stoneman):
    Fire On The Mountain / If You're Ever Gonna Love Me / Julius Finkebines's Rag / Dark Hollow / Train 45
    Chug-A-Lug / Listen To The MockingBird - Old Joe Clark / Ocean Of Diamonds (bonus track on CD)
    Alabama Jubilee (bonus track on CD)
    Sunny Side Of The Mountain (bonus track on CD)

    Recorded April 25, 1965 at the "Ash Grove"
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush, Billy Ray Lathum & Scotty Stoneman):
    Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (bonus track on CD) / Lee Highway blues (bonus track on CD)

    Recorded August 9, 1965 at the "Cobblestone Club" North Hollywood
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush, Billy Ray Lathum & Scotty Stoneman):
    A Good Woman's Love

    Bonus tracks on CD release:
    Get Down On Your Knees And Pray / Lee Highway Blues / Ocean Of Diamonds / Alabama Jubilee
    Sunny Side Of The Mountain / I Am A Pilgrim

    Order CD here!

    Scotty Stoneman was a member of the KENTUCKY COLONELS until September 1965.

    Clarence White

    Clarence White

    By 1965, the folk boom had bottomed out and acoustic bluegrass bands were hardly in demand.
    At the last club they worked as the KENTUCKY COLONELS they had electric instruments and added Bart Haney on drums. Their repertoire for the most part consisted of "country stuff" but they still played a set of Bluegrass each night.

    October 31, 1965 THE KENTUCKY COLONELS did their last performance.

    Bill Monroe invited Clarence to join the "Bluegrass Boys", but Clarence suggested that Monroe hire Roland to play guitar instead. Roland left to join Monroe and Clarence immersed himself in electric guitar.

    Visit Clarence White's gear list!

    1966

    James Burton (guitarist for Elvis Presley and highly respected session musician) heard Clarence on one of the band's amplified gigs and was impressed. Clarence started doing session work with the help of James Burton in the Los Angeles area. His first session James landed for Clarence was playing rhythm guitar for Ricky Nelson (for his album "Country Fever") and Clarence became more involved in the pop and rock music scene.

    Clarence, Roland and Roger Bush (THE KENTUCKY COLONELS) recorded a few electric demos with Zeke Manners. Zeke Manners was a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who became famous in the 30s with L.A. country act "The Beverly Hillbillies". He later played with several acts and had a long-running folk music show in New York. Manners co-wrote "Amstrong, Aldrin and Collins" which was covered by "The Byrds" on the "Ballad Of Easy Rider" album (1969).

    White Brothers

    Roland, Eric & Clarence

    The songs "Everybody Has One But You" and "Made Of Stone" include Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush and an unknown (maybe Bart Haney) rhythm section (and maybe Eric White, Sr. on harmonica). Clarence also sings lead vocals. These two songs were released on the fantastic CD "Clarence White: Tuff & Stringy Sessions 1966-68" on the Big Beat label.

    In April 1966 the group disbanded. Clarence did increasing amounts of session work and also played night club jobs with different groups.
    Clarence, Roger Bush and Bart Haney stayed together for a few more weeks and performed regulary at a dance hall in El Monte, CA.
    Roland & Eric White, along with Bob Warford on banjo and Dennis Morris on guitar, did some gigs around L.A., but Clarence frequently sat in to play lead when he was free from other musical commitments.
    Roland booked a West Coast tour for the new group, calling itself The White Brothers and The Kentucky Colonels. A few cuts were made of the group just before it finally dwindled out of existence. Those tracks can be heard on the Rounder Records album "The Kentucky Colonels: 1965-1967 - Featuring Roland and Clarence White".

    Clarence began to perform live with the Gosdin Brothers, with Rex playing bass and the trio using various drummers.

    In the Fall of 1966 Clarence joined the recording session for "Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers" at Columbia Records studio in Hollywood, CA. Other musicians on that album were: Doug Dillard, Leon Russell, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, Glen Campbell ... .
    In the linter notes is written: "To record his album, Gene put together a crew of musicians prophetic in its composition. First came the Gosdin Brothers and Clarence White. The Byrds and the Gosdins had the same management, so we had been doing a lot of concerts together, especially in California. Clarence was playing guitar for them, and their act was kind of country, just country enough for what I wanted to do, and Clarence came along with them."

    Note: At the same sessions (with same players) the Gosdin Brothers recorded a single for the Editc label, "One Hundred Years From Now / No Matter Where You Go (There You Are)" (Edict 167) and also the song "Tell Me" an unissued outtake. All three songs were released by Big Beat on the CD "The Gosdin Brothers: Sounds Of Goodbye". More info about that CD in the next part (Reasons / Nashville West) of the Clarence White biogrpahy!

    Alec Palao (from Big Beat Label and Bakersfield International re-issue producer) about "Tell Me": "Clarence's solo on "Tell Me" is one of his greatest moments in my opinion, and a very early example of his total prowess on the electric, as opposed to acoustic, guitar."

    Clarence's first involvement with The Byrds came in November 1966 when he was asked by Chris Hillman to play on a couple of songs being recorded for the Byrds next album "Younger Than Yesterday". The songs were Hillman's first solo songwriting contributions to the band and had a distinctly country feel about them which made them ideal material for Clarence to add his guitar.
    The two songs that featured Clarence are "Time Between" & "The Girl With No Name".

    Late 1966 THE KENTUCKY COLONELS regrouped again. Bob Warford remembers: "In late 1966 - early 1967 The Kentucky Colonels re-formed again, initially with Roland White (mandolin), Eric White (bass), Bob Warford (banjo), Dennis Morse (guitar) and Jimmy Crane (fiddle). Clarence joined later."
    On December 25th 1966 and in January 1967 they played at the Ash Grove with Jimmy, but without Clarence. Clarence rejoined by March and Jimmy left, he was only with the band for a short while.

    1967

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS (Clarence, Roland & Eric White, Dennis Morris, Bob Warford & Jimmy - Bobby was a mis-type on the album - Crane) recorded demos in L.A. which were released by Shiloh Records as "The Kentucky Colonels: 1966".

    The tracks were originally recorded to be broadcasted as a radio show. It was done at Second Street Sound, a small 4-track recording studio in Paramount, CA, a few miles east of Los Angeles. The recording engineers were Dale Davis and Russ Kunkle (later the famous session drummer). Originally recorded monaurally for radio, the tracks were reprocessed for stereo for the LP. It seems that around February 1967, Clarence had decided to join The White Brothers, and Jimmy Crane was still with the group when they recorded the tracks (February 9th 1967) for the KGBS Pilot Studio Program.
    According to Bob Warford, Jimmy Crane sings high harmony, and also sings lead on "One Tear" and "Cotton-Eyed Joe". Other than "Soldier's Joy" and "I Might Take You Back", none of the songs were in the group's regular show.

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - album 1966
    - THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: 1966 (Shiloh Records 4084)
    With Clarence White, Roland White, Eric White, Dennis Morris, Bob Warford & Jimmy Crane.

    Tracks:
    Side A: Soldier's Joy / The Fugitive / Rubens Train / One Tear / I Might Take You Back Again / Take Off Your Cheaters
    Side B: Take Off Your Cheaters / Old Country Church / Earl's Breakdown / Give This Message To Your Heart / Rubens Train
    Cotton Eyed Joe / Soldier's Joy

    Note: Although the album is titled "1966" the recording session (KGBS pilot studio program) of the group took place on February 2, 1967. The David and Lu Spencer sides (see session page) were cut at the same session. On March 18, 1967 David Spencer hosted a show called "American Music Time" where he played the session.

    Gene Humphrey remembers: "The Kentucky Colonels 1966 album were demo tapes Dale Davis found at an L.A studio he worked at with Gary Paxton. There were hardly enough to put an album together and I believe we even repeated a cut or two to make enough cuts."

    Kentucky Colonels

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS
    Bob Warford, Dennis Morris, Eric, Roland & Clarence White

    Dale Davis writes in the liner notes to that album: "This album is unique in several respects. First, these recordings were made in 1966 after the Colonels had regrouped, so to speak, with the departure of Scotty Stoneman on fiddle, Roger Bush on bass and Billy Ray Lathum on banjo. The three White Brothers (Roland, Clarence &, Eric) were reunited along with Dennis Morris on guitar, Bob Warford on banjo and Jimmy Crane on fiddle, to form, as it turned out, the last group to perform as the Kentucky Colonels. Second, to the best of my knowledge, none of the songs on this album appear on other Colonels albums, which should make this, too, an instant collectors' item and an absolute must for the Kentucky Colonels fan. A third item of interest, for these recordings, the Colonels came into a Recording Studio for the expressed purpose of making a commercial recording. Until this session most recordings of the Colonels were made on home tape recorders by fans while the Colonels were performing in various niteclubs around Los Angeles.

    On March 18, 1967 broadcast of the "American Music Time" It contained most of the tracks that had been recorded on the February 9th session. The radio program was edited to sound like a live show with added audience sounds and narration by singer Dave Spencer.
    Two additional songs recorded by Dave and Lou Spencer, "Apartment No. 9" and "Please Be My Love" which was recorded at another session were also added for the broadcast. Neither of these two songs, nor the narration was used on the 1978 Shiloh album.

    FM Broadcast tracks were: Train 45 / One Tear / The Fugitive/ Earls` Breakdown/ Apartment No. 9/ I Might Take You Back Again/ Cotton Eyed Joe/ Give This Message To Your Heart / Please Be My Love / Soldier's Joy / Old Country Church / Train 45

    At a show in March 1967 the COLONELS were joined by the Gosdin Brothers (Vern and Rex) for a few songs!

    Again a few shows were played at the "Ash Grove" in March/April 1967. You can hear that line-up (Roland, Eric & Clarence White, Bob Warford and Dennis Morse (rhythm guitar, vocals) on the Rounder Records releases "Clarence White and the Kentucky Colonels" and on "The Kentucky Colonels: 1965-1967 - featuring Roland and Clarence White". Both albums include also performances from earlier line-ups!

    THE KENTUCKY COLONELS - album Clarence White and The KC
    - CLARENCE WHITE AND THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: Clarence White And The Kentucky Colonels (Rounder Records 0098)

    Tracks:
    Recorded 1964
    (Clarence & Roland White, Roger Bush & Billy Ray Lathum):
    Alabama Jubilee / I Am A Pilgrim / Billy In The Low Ground / Bury Me Beneath The Willow (Clarence & unknown guitar player)
    Footprints In The Snow / Wildwood Flower

    Recorded April 1967
    (Clarence, Roland and Eric White & Bob Warford):
    Farewell Blues / When You're Smiling (Clarence solo) / Prisoner's Song / Good Woman's Love / White-Washed Chimney
    Listen To The Mocking Bird / Teardrops In My Eyes

    1965-1967 KENTUCKY COLONELS - album
    - THE KENTUCKY COLONELS: 1965-1967 - Featuring Roland And Clarence White (Rounder 0070)

    Tracks (recording years my guess!!!!!):
    Recorded 1964/65 (Clarence and Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum & Roger Bush)
    New River Train / Blue Moon Of Kentucky / Don't Let Your Deal Go Down / New Soldiers Joy / Wicked Path Of Sin

    Recorded 1965 (Clarence and Roland White, Billy Ray Lathum, Roger Bush & Scotty Stoneman)
    Lee Highway Blues / Rawhide / Let Me Fall

    Recorded 1966/67 (Clarence, Roland and Eric White, Bob Warford & Dennis Morse)
    Bucking Mule / How Mountain Girls Can Love / Black Mountain Rag / Sunny Side Of The Mountain / Jimmy's Barnyard Shuffle
    You Won't Be Satisfied That Way / Clinch Mountain Backstep

    In this period The Kentucky Colonels were mainly billed as "The White Brothers".

    White Brothers

    The White Brothers at the Ash Grove

    During May of 1967 The White Brothers open for Bill Monroe. It was at this run of shows that Monroe reportedly offered the guitar gig to Clarence to replace departing Bluegrass Boy Doug Green.
    Bill Monroe And The Blue Grass Boys had been booked for a west coast tour, but his regular band, were stranded as Monroe's bus had broken down in El Centro, California. (Some sources suggest they broke down in Texas, but this seems unlikely).
    The previous day, May 12th Monroe had played the First Annual San Diego Folk Festival with his guitarist Doug Green and temps Doug Dillard (banjo), Dean Webb, and Mitch Jayne of The Dillards, who traveled to San Diego to back Bill.
    For the Ash Grove Show, Bob Warford recalls: "The Kentucky Colonels backing Monroe that weekend were "Roland, Clarence & Eric White, me (Bob Warford) and Dennis Morse. Legend has it that Monroe offered Clarence a job that week, but I know nothing of that.". Local musician Dave Ellison also temps on fiddle, while Doug Green, is the only Blue Grass Boy present.
    Dave Ellison: "In 1967, I fiddled one night with Bill Monroe at the Ash Grove. His band got stuck somewhere, and he needed a band (full house). He had his son on bass, Roland White on guitar, Bob Warford on banjo, and myself on fiddle. What a thrill!"

    Note: May 19th 1967 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys play at the Ash Grove (Los Angeles, CA). Their show begins with a brief introductory instrumental, after which we hear a charming spoken introduction from Bill, whose son, James Monroe, features on bass among a stellar group of local players. It's a fast-paced show, moving for a time into solo numbers once Monroe starts singing on "Put My Rubber Doll Away" and eventually requiring a second banjo player on "Lonesome Road Blues" for which "banjo-picker" Bob Warford is invited up to join the already six-piece group. The set includes Monroe's renowned version of Jimmie Rodgers' "Mule Skinner Blues". Following a sing-a-long rendition of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" at the end of the show, Monroe announces that they're slated to play two further shows that night and three more the following night, and they finish with "Y'All Come". Bill Monroe on vocals and mandolin, Doug Green on guitar, James Monroe on bass, Roland White on guitar, Byron Berline on fiddle, Lamar Grier on banjo and Bob Warford on banjo.
    It seems that at this point Bill has managed to get the Blue Grass Boys to Los Angeles, as Doug Green, James Monroe, Roland White, Byron Berline and Lamar Grier are all present.
    For Monroe, this turn of events, were most fortunate. His guitarist Doug Green was planning to leave to return to college, and Monroe was looking for a replacement lead vocalist and guitarist. The story is that Roland joined the rest of Monroe's west coast tour as a guest and at the end of it was hired as the new guitarist that same month. Roland stayed with Monroe for nearly two years and recorded on three sessions, including singing lead on the first recording of "Walls of Time". His Monroe recording session dates were: 8/23/1967, 11/9/1967, 11/14/1968.
    The general opinion is that if Clarence had been offered the gig, he was playing too many sessions to give that up and that Roland was a better choice because of preference for staying in the Bluegrass genre, and unlike Clarence, he had no problem with singing lead.

    In May 1967 Roland decided there was no future for a Bluegrass musicians in California and went on to become a guitar player for Bill Monroe's "Bluegrass Boys" and mandolin player for Lester Flatt's "Nashville Grass".
    Billy Ray Lathum joined Dillard and the Expedition 1970 and in 1971 The Dillards. Roger Bush joined Dillard and the Expedition and later Country Gazette.

    For more info about late 1966 and 1967 (not with the Kentucky Colonels) read more in the next part of the biography!

    Go to the table of contents again | ............. continue the Clarence White biography