Lester Flatt

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Lester Flatt Raimond (* 19th June 1914 in Overton County , Tennessee ; † 11. May 1979 in Nashville ) was an American country - singer and guitarist .


Don't Let Your Deal Down (Flatt & Scruggs), 1957


His parents, Nannie Mae Haney and Isaac Columbus Flatt, both played the banjo and Lester learned to play the guitar and the banjo. At the age of seven he was in the church choir and was known for his singing in the town and the surrounding area.


As a teenager, Lester Flatt became a textile worker in a silk factory in Sparta , North Carolina , but still listened to hillbilly music, was a fan of the Monroe Brothers, and still played instruments. His wife Gladys, who was also employed in the factory, could also sing and play the guitar. In 1934, after the factory closed, he and his wife moved to McMinnville , Tennessee and worked in a silk factory in Johnson City . The next year, their company relocated them to near Roanoke, Virginia. There they performed as a duo after work. In 1939 Lester appeared on the radio with friends from Tennessee as "The Harmonizers". For health reasons, he gave up his work in the factory and concentrated entirely on music. In the fall of 1940, the Flatts moved to Burlington, North Carolina. There he performed with the Happy-Go-Lucky Boys with Clyde Moody , who has already worked with Bill Monroe . In 1943 the Flatts were hired by Charlie Monroe . In these formations Lester Flatt sang tenor and played the mandolin .


Lester Flatt got out, became a trucker, and worked on the radio in North Carolina. There he received a telegram from Bill Monroe that he wanted to appear with Flatt in the Grand Ole Opry . Flatt joined Monroe's band "Blue Grass Boys", but left them in 1948, two weeks after Earl Scruggs left , because Monroe toured a lot.

Flatt and Scruggs decided to do radio work together. Mac Wiseman and the ex Blue Grass boys Jim Shumate on fiddle and Howard Watts (stage name Cedric Rainwater) on bass formed their backing band, the Foggy Mountain Boys, in Hickory , North Carolina in 1948 .

Until 1969 this was one of the most successful bluegrass groups . When Wiseman got out, he was replaced by the mandolinist Curly Seckler. In 1955 they got their own TV show and became members of the Grand Ole Opry. They were on tour more than in Monroe's time.

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs split in 1969, and Flatt formed the band Nashville Grass. He himself played guitar, Roland White mandolin, Vic Jordan banjo, Paul Warran fiddle, Josh Graves Dobro and Jake Tulloch bass. Jordan left Bill Monroe's band for this. In 1972 he got out of Nashville Grass to join the Earl Scruggs Revue. Flatt's banjo player became Haskell McCormick and twelve-year-old Marty Stuart became guitarist for the band in the same year.

In 1979 Flatt had to go to hospital. For his subsequent recovery period, he asked Curly Seckler to run Nashville Grass. Lester Flatt died while in hospital a month after his last Opry performance on May 11, 1979. In 1992, Flatt was posthumously inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame alongside Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe .


For Flatt & Scruggs' discography, see Flatt & Scruggs .


year title Remarks
Mercury Records
1969 Great Big Woman / I Live The Life Of Riley
1970 Regina / Reuben James
Nugget Nrd Records
1971 Drink That Mash And Talk That Trash / Sunny Side Of The Mountain
RCA Victor Records
1971 I Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls / Everybody Has One (But You)
1971 Will You Be Loving Another Man / Jimmie Brown The Newsboy with Mac Wiseman
1971 Don't Take It So Hard Mr Webster / Father's Table Grace
1971 Blue Birds Are Singing For Me / We'll Meet Again Sweetheart with Mac Wiseman
1971 Kentucky Ridgerunner / Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms
1972 Salty Dog Blues / Mama's And Daddy's Little Girl with Mac Wiseman
1972 You're Still Mine Tonight / Backin 'Back To Birmingham
1972 Me And Your Memory / On The Southbound with Mac Wiseman
1972 February Snow / Foggy Mountain Breakdown
1973 Blue Ridge Cabin Home / Waiting For The Boys To Come Home with Mac Wiseman
1973 This Man Jesus / I've Been Away So Long
1974 Before You Go / Love's Come Over Me
CMH Records
1976 I Live The Life Of Riley / Black Eyed Suzy


  • 1970 Flatt Out
  • 1970 The One and Only
  • 1971 Flatt on Victor
  • 1971 Lester 'n Mac (With Mac Wiseman )
  • 1972 Kentucky Ridgerunner
  • 1972 On the Southbound
  • 1972 Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  • 1973 Country Boy
  • 1973 Over the Hills to the Poorhouse
  • 1974 Before you go
  • 1974 The best
  • 1974 Bluegrass Festival (live with Bill Monroe)
  • 1975 Flatt Gospel
  • 1975 Lester Raymond Flatt
  • 1976 rollin '
  • 1976 Heaven's Bluegrass Band
  • 1977 Living Legend
  • 1977 Live at the Bluegrass Festival
  • 1978 Pickin 'Time
  • 1979 Fantastic Pickin '
  • 1979 America's greatest breakdown fiddle

See also


  • Fred Dellar & Roy Thompson: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music ; ISBN 0-86101-012-4 .

Web links