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Cherryholmes was an American bluegrass band from Los Angeles, California, made up of six members of the Cherryholmes family: father Jere (Pop), mother Sandy Lee, daughters Cia Leigh and Molly Kate, and sons B.J. and Skip.
Shelly, the twenty-year-old daughter of Jere and Sandy Lee, died unexpectedly in March 1999. In of that year. In April Jere and Sandy Lee took the family to a local bluegrass festival, after which they and their children started learning to play bluegrass music. Jere already played electric bass and acoustic guitar. Sandy played many instruments including guitar, piano, and some fiddle and mandolin. Cia, 15, began learning guitar. B.J., 11, and Molly, 7, began the fiddle. Skip, 9, began the mandolin. Jere switched to upright bass and Sandy took the mandolin.
They began playing in April; in July they auditioned, and were hired, for their first gig at Oak Tree Village, Oak Glen in the San Bernardino Mountains. From then they played regularly a amateurs at bluegrass venues and festivals throughout Southern California and Arizona.
In 2000 they turned professional. They needed a banjo player; Cia learnt bluegrass style banjo, Skip learned to play the guitar, and Sandy taught herself frailing style banjo. Their show included Irish Step dancing and clogging, bluegrass/country standards, and hot instrumentals.
In 2002 they sold their home in L.A., purchased a 26' travel trailer, and took their show to audiences in the Mid-west and the East. They earned enough in the first year to buy their first tour bus. In spring of 2003, they went to Nashville, Tennessee to make their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
In early 2005, they signed with Skaggs Family Records (owned by Country music icon Ricky Skaggs). Their first release with Skaggs Family won them their first of five Grammy nominations. In the fall of 2005, they were the first bluegrass band to be nominated for both IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year and IBMA Entertainers of the Year. They took home IBMA Entertainers of the Year, the top award.
Columbia Artist Management (CAMI) in New York City booked them into theaters and performing arts centers and eventually into performances with symphony orchestras around the country. They traveled nearly a million miles in their tour bus, playing at many bluegrass, country, roots and rock venues, including Lincoln Center in New York City, Bonnaroo and CMA Music Festival in Tennessee, Stage Coach in So. California, and NASCAR at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.
Cherryholmes toured Switzerland, France, Japan, the UK, Canada, the Maritimes and the Caribbean. They performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry. During their career, they received Five Grammy nominations and a Dove Award nomination. Their songs appeared on Gaither Music CDs and DVDs. They have appeared on various PBS specials including the award-winning Bluegrass Underground. In March 2006 their story was featured in a Billy Graham Television special. They are included on the Famous Homeschoolers website.
On January 12, 2011, Cherryholmes announced that they had decided to disband, saying that the younger members needed to choose their own paths without the extreme interdependence that exists in a family business.
Cherryholmes performed their last show together on May 7, 2011 in Galax, Virginia. Cia, B.J., Skip, and Molly went on to pursue individual careers.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|US Grass||US Country||US
|Still a Little Rough Around the Edges||
|Dressed for Success||
|Cherryholmes II: Black and White||
|Cherryholmes III: Don't Believe||
|Cherryholmes IV: Common Threads||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
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