Courtney Johnson Singer

Courtney Johnson was an innovative banjo player, best known for his work as an original member of the band New Grass Revival. Influenced by Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys, Johnson is often considered to be an inventor of the newgrass style of banjo playing, polished and improved later on by such personalities as Béla Fleck, Alison Brown, Scott Vestal of Sam Bush Band and Jens Krüger of Krüger Brothers. Johnson began to play guitar at the age of seven, but didn't pick up the banjo until he was about 25 years old. He worked as a mechanic in a service station at his hometown of Hiseville, Kentucky before he earned enough money as a musician. Johnson played in several local bands, including the Rocky Road Boys with Bill Hatfield on fiddle and Bill Logsdon on guitar. In 1969, Sam Bush asked Courtney to join his band, Poor Richard's Almanac. They played together in local clubs until 1970, when Bush left to join the Bluegrass Alliance band. In 1971, Johnson also joined the band, consisting of Bush, fiddler Lonnie Pierce, guitarist Tony Rice and bassist Ebo Walker. The Bluegrass Alliance is often considered as one of the bands that started to play progressive bluegrass.

Personal details

Date of birth
December 20th, 1939
Place of birth
Date of death
June, 1996 at age of #<ArgumentError: invalid date>

Musical acts

1.New Grass Revival Progressive bluegrass, Country

1972 - 1981

New Grass Revival was an American progressive bluegrass band founded in 1971, and composed of Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, Ebo Walker, Curtis Burch, Butch Robins, John Cowan, Béla Fleck and Pat Flynn. They were active between 1971 and 1989, releasing more than twenty albums as well as six singles. Their highest-charting single is "Callin' Baton Rouge", which peaked at No. 37 on the U.S. country charts in 1989 and was a Top 5 country hit for Garth Brooks five years later.

Member history

Member Role Start End
Curtis Burch
Vocals, Dobro, Guitar 1972 1981
Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals 1972 1989
Ebo Walker
Vocals, Acoustic bass guitar 1972 1974
Banjo, Vocals, Guitar 1972 1981
Bass guitar 1974 1974
Vocals, Bass guitar 1974 1989
Vocals, Guitar 1981 1989
Guitar, Vocals, Banjo 1981 1989


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