Art Greenhaw is a Grammy Award-Winning recording artist, producer and mixing engineer, having won the Grammy Award in 2003 in New York City for "Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year" for the album WE CALLED HIM MR. GOSPEL MUSIC: THE JAMES BLACKWOOD TRIBUTE ALBUM. He founded the independent record label, Greenhaw Records.
Greenhaw is bassist, multi-instrumentalist and manager for The Light Crust Doughboys. He officially joined The Light Crust Doughboys as band member in 1993 under the direction of Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery, one of Greenhaw's musical mentors. The symphony performances and the other enterprises of The Light Crust Doughboys in the 1990s and in the new millennium are largely the products of Art Greenhaw's imagination and promotional skill.
Like most of the other Doughboys down through the years, Greenhaw started in music at an early age. At eight, Art picked up the guitar, and by the fourth grade, he had his own band, "The Doodlebugs". Later, during the psychedelic era, came a rock band named "The Inner Soul". With The Inner Soul, Greenhaw met physician George Miller, the father of rock musician Steve Miller. The elder Miller hired Greenhaw's groups to play at various parties. Greenhaw's interest in guitar led him to country music at an early age. At the same time, Greenhaw studied classical music as a child at the SMU Piano Preparatory Department. Years later, Greenhaw received his college degree from SMU.
Starting in 1983, Greenhaw served as the musical director and band leader of a weekly country music revue, the Mesquite Opry. Art first worked with The Light Crust Doughboys when he booked them to play at the Mesquite Folk Festival in 1983, which Greenhaw had founded. Greenhaw became excited about the prospects for the venerable band, which had been working only sporadically for several years. He brought his marketing talents to bear. Walter Hailey, the Doughboys' master of ceremonies in the 1950s, was born in Mesquite and is a close friend of Art's family, so Art had been steeped in Light Crust Doughboys lore growing up.
Greenhaw has been bassist of The Light Crust Doughboys since 1993. His experience as a rock guitarist has affected his bass playing. He usually plays with a pick, a feature more common to rock bassists than to jazz, country or western swing players. Greenhaw brings great variety to the Doughboys' bass position. His approach changed the bass sound of the Doughboys' rhythm section; the bass, before always supportive, now is more melodic and noticeable, as in rock music.
When Greenhaw joined the Doughboys as bass player and co-producer in 1993, he set into motion a plan through which the Doughboys would create for themselves a new golden age. That plan has resulted in the Doughboys making frequent appearances in theaters throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
Greenhaw has also organized unusual performance and recording opportunities for the Doughboys. In 1997, Greenhaw took the lead in composing and arranging the music and recording the soundtrack for a documentary film about actor Bela Lugosi, LUGOSI: HOLLYWOOD'S DRACULA. He worked on the project with then University of Oklahoma instructor Gary Rhodes. The project received a rave review in FILMFAX magazine. Also during 1997, the Doughboys participated in a cooperative recording effort entitled THE HIGH ROAD ON THE HILLTOP, this time joining up with the youthful, exuberant Southern Methodist University Mustang Band. This collaboration came through Greenhaw, who studied as a child in SMU's piano preparatory division and later earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the institution. Greenhaw's father, Frank, also earned a degree from SMU and from 1941 to 1945 was student director of the Mustang Band. The Mustang Band and The Light Crust Doughboys created a professional, and in many respects, exciting album despite their differences in age and musical style. Greenhaw wrote three of the songs recorded: "The High Road", "Texas Women" and "Hangin' 'Round Deep Ellum". THE HIGH ROAD ON THE HILLTOP is a time capsule, a piece of Texas musical history, and also a laboratory experiment in music education.
The addition of Art Greenhaw to The Light Crust Doughboys brought, at times, a new rock orientation to the Doughboys' sound and greater complexity to their arrangements. At the time of this writing, Greenhaw's fertile imagination had led him into a project to combine his and The Doughboys' brand of Texas-style music with the far Eastern sounds of Indian classical music. "We call it 'Lone Star Sitar,'" Greenhaw said. "We'll be moving in those real avant garde, world music directions".
Art Greenhaw has taken The Light Crust Doughboys into areas they never before ventured. Working with The Texas Commission on the Arts, he has produced programs and recordings with symphony orchestras and classical ballet. Under his direction, the band continued their gospel recordings, winning additional Grammy Nominations in this field. One of Greenhaw's musical influences, Tom Brumley, steel guitarist for Rick Nelson and Buck Owens, says this about Greenhaw and his record production creativity: "Art was fantastic to work with. The guy has so much imagination to put such things together. He's amazing to me."
- www.grammy.com (Winners Listings)
- THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS ARE ON THE AIR, John Mark Dempsey, University of North Texas Press: 2002, pgs. 201, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 214, 219.
- WE'RE THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS FROM BURRUS MILL, Jean A. Boyd, University of Texas Press: 2003, pgs. 108, 111, 113, 114, 115, 119, 121.