Del McCoury

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Del McCoury
Del McCoury
Background information
Birth name Delano Floyd McCoury
Born (1939-02-01) February 1, 1939 (age 77)
York, Pennsylvania
Genres Bluegrass, Country, Old-time
Occupation(s) Singer, musician
Instruments Guitar, Banjo, Singer
Years active 1958–present
Labels Rounder Records, McCoury Music
Associated acts Del McCoury Band, Golden State Boys, Bill Monroe, The String Cheese Incident, Steve Earle, Ronnie McCoury

Delano Floyd McCoury (born February 1, 1939 in York, Pennsylvania[1]) is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo respectively. In June 2010, he received a National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2011 he was elected into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.


McCoury has had a long career in bluegrass. Although originally hired as banjo player, he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1963, with whom he first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. McCoury briefly appeared with the Golden State Boys in 1964 before taking a series of day jobs in construction and logging, while continuing to work as an amateur musician in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.[2]

In the 1980s his sons began performing with him. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined McCoury's group in early 1990s. McCoury's group toured widely throughout the US.[3] They relocated to Nashville, Tennessee as they began to attract attention. Fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Mike Bub joined in 1992. Alan Bartram joined the band as bassist in 2005. McCoury became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in October 2003.

McCoury was also one of many performers at The Clearwater Concert at Madison Square Garden on May 3, 2009. The event celebrated the 90th birthday of Pete Seeger.

McCoury has influenced a great number of bands, including Phish, with whom he has shared the stage several times,[4][5] and who have covered his songs.[6] He has also performed with The String Cheese Incident and Donna the Buffalo, and recorded with Steve Earle.[7] McCoury has covered songs by artists as diverse as The Lovin' Spoonful, Tom Petty, and Richard Thompson.[6] McCoury has appeared at festivals including Bonnaroo, High Sierra,[2] the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and the Newport Folk Festival.[8] His television appearances include Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Late Show with David Letterman.[9] Del has a very enthusiastic fan base, known as the Del-Heads.

Del McCoury Band – Old Settler's Music Festival (2013)

In October 2009, The Del McCoury Band began offering fans recordings of their performances on USB flash drives available immediately after their concerts.[10]

In June 2010, McCoury received a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts in the field of folk and traditional arts, including a stipend of $25,000.[11]

In 2012, he joined the 11th[12] annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.


Del McCoury Band at 2nd Annual DelFest (2009)

In 2008, Del McCoury started DelFest, an annual bluegrass festival in Cumberland, Maryland, held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds.[13] Del McCoury Band plays every night at each of the festivals.

The 5th annual DelFest occurred in May 2012,[14] and major bluegrass acts played such as Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, Railroad Earth, Bela Fleck, and Sam Bush, most of which had returned from previous years at the festival.

In previous years, acts such Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Jesse McReynolds, The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass, and Psychograss have played.


Del McCoury – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (2005)

Del McCoury[edit]

Year Album
1968 I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Del McCoury Sings Bluegrass
1971 Livin' on the Mountain
Collector's Special
1972 High on a Mountain (Del McCoury and The Dixie Pals)
1974 Our Kind of Grass (Rebel SLP-1569)
1975 Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals (Del McCoury and The Dixie Pals – Revonah 916)
1976 Del McCoury (Rebel SLP 1542)
1980 Live in Japan (Del McCoury and The Dixie Pals)
1981 Take Me To the Mountains (Del McCoury and The Dixie Pals – Rebel REB 1622)
1983 The Best of Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals (Del McCoury and The Dixie Pals – Rebel REB 1610)
1985 Sawmill (Del McCoury and The Dixie Pals – Rebel REB 1636)
1987 The McCoury Brothers (The McCoury Brothers)
1988 Don't Stop the Music
1992 "Blue Side of Town"
1993 "A Deeper Shade of Blue"
1996 "Cold Hard Facts"
1998 Del Doc & Mac (Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson & Del McCoury)
1999 "Family"
For the Love of God, Man, Let Your Sons Sing or Something! (Ronnie McCoury)
2001 "Del and the Boys"
2003 "It's Just the Night"
2004 Classic Bluegrass (Del McCoury & The Dixie Pals)
High Lonesome and Blue
2005 Company We Keep
2007 Little Mo'McCoury (Ronnie McCoury backed by Del McCoury Band)
2008 Moneyland
2009 Celebrating 50 Years
Family Circle

Del McCoury Band[edit]

Main article: Del McCoury Band


Del McCoury has won 31 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year four consecutive times[15] (nine total[8]). McCoury has also won IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year four times. In 2004 he was nominated for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award for It's Just The Night, and in 2006 he won his first Grammy Award, in the same category, for The Company We Keep.[8] In 2014, McCoury was nominated and won his second Grammy Award for "The Streets of Baltimore". McCoury received the Bluegrass Star Award, presented by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, in 2015. The award is bestowed upon bluegrass artists who do an exemplary job of advancing traditional bluegrass music and bringing it to new audiences while preserving its character and heritage.[16]

International Bluegrass Music Association Awards[edit]

Del McCoury Band, 2007
  • 1990 Male Vocalist of the Year – Del McCoury
  • 1991 Male Vocalist of the Year – Del McCoury
  • 1992 Male Vocalist of the Year – Del McCoury
  • 1994 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 1994 Album of the Year – A Deeper Shade of Blue; Del McCoury
  • 1996 Instrumental Group of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 1996 Entertainer of the Year – Del McCoury
  • 1996 Male Vocalist of the Year – Del McCoury
  • 1997 Instrumental Group of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 1997 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 1997 Album of the Year – True Life Blues – The Songs of Bill Monroe; Sam Bush, Vassar Clements, Mike Compton, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Pat Enright, Greg Garing, Richard Greene, David Grier, David Grisman, John Hartford, Bobby Hicks, Kathy Kallick, Laurie Lewis, Mike Marshall, Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Jim Nunally, Scott Nygaard, Mollie O'Brien, Tim O'Brien, Alan O'Bryant, Herb Pedersen, Todd Phillips, John Reischman, Peter Rowan, Craig Smith, Chris Thile, Tony Trischka, Roland White.
  • 1998 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 1999 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 2000 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 2002 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 2002 Song of the Year – 1952 Vincent Black Lightning; The Del McCoury Band (artists), Richard Thompson (writer)
  • 2003 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 2004 Entertainer of the Year – The Del McCoury Band
  • 2004 Album of the Year – It's Just the Night; The Del McCoury Band

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Del McCoury". Del McCoury. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  2. ^ a b GACTV December 5, 2005, accessed February 11, 2006[dead link]
  3. ^ Kingsbury, Paul, The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press, 1998. p. 335
  4. ^ [1], accessed February 11, 2006
  5. ^ [2], accessed February 11, 2006
  6. ^ a b [3], accessed February 11, 2006
  7. ^ National Public Radio, Morning Edition June 20, 2005 broadcast, accessed February 11, 2006
  8. ^ a b c [4], accessed February 11, 2006 Archived July 21, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ [5], accessed February 11, 2006. Archived July 21, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^
  11. ^ NEA Will Honor 18 Artists
  12. ^ "11th Annual IMA Judges. Independent Music Awards. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  13. ^ DelFest website accessed May 9, 2009
  14. ^ DelFest website Retrieved June 6, 2012
  15. ^ [6], accessed February 11, 2006
  16. ^ "Bluegrass Heritage Foundation official website". 2010. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 

External links[edit]