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Jerry Douglas

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Jerry Douglas
Douglas in 2009
Douglas in 2009
Background information
Birth nameGerald Calvin Douglas
Born (1956-05-28) May 28, 1956 (age 68)
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
GenresAmericana, bluegrass, country
Instrument(s)Dobro, resonator guitar, lap steel guitar, guitar
Years active1970s–present
LabelsRounder, MCA, Sugar Hill, Entertainment One, Koch
Member ofAlison Krauss & Union Station
Formerly ofThe GrooveGrass Boyz

Gerald Calvin "Jerry" Douglas (born May 28, 1956) is an American Dobro and lap steel guitar player and record producer.[1] He is widely regarded as "perhaps the finest Dobro player in contemporary acoustic music, and certainly the most celebrated and prolific."[2] A fourteen-time Grammy winner, he has been called “dobro’s matchless contemporary master,” by The New York Times, and is among the most innovative recording artists in music,[3] both as a solo artist and member of numerous bands, such as Alison Krauss and Union Station and The Earls of Leicester. He has been a co-director of the Transatlantic Sessions since 1998.


Watson Stage - MerleFest 2018
Jerry Douglas playing one of his resonator guitars

In addition to his fourteen solo recordings, Douglas has played on more than 1,600 albums.[4][5] As a sideman, he has recorded with artists as diverse as Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Phish, Dolly Parton, Susan Ashton, Paul Simon, Mumford & Sons, Keb' Mo', Ricky Skaggs, Elvis Costello, Tommy Emmanuel, James Taylor and Johnny Mathis, as well as performing on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and the follow-up "Down From the Mountain" tour with Alison Krauss and Union Station.[6] He has collaborated with various groups including The Whites, New South (band), The Country Gentlemen, Strength in Numbers, and Elvis Costello's "Sugar Canes".

From 1996 to 1998, Douglas was a member of The GrooveGrass Boyz.[7]

Douglas produced a number of records, including some at Sugar Hill Records. He oversaw albums by Alison Krauss, the Del McCoury Band, Maura O'Connell, Jesse Winchester and the Nashville Bluegrass Band, The Earls of Leicester, Gary Morris, The Steep Canyon Rangers. Along with Aly Bain, he serves as Music Director of the popular BBC Television series, "Transatlantic Sessions".

Since 1998, Douglas has been a member of Alison Krauss and Union Station, touring extensively and playing on a series of platinum-selling albums. When not on the road with Alison Krauss and Union Station, Douglas tours in support of his extensive body of work with his bands The Jerry Douglas Band and The Earls of Leicester, following the continued success of the latter's 2014 release The Earls of Leicester and 2015's Rattle and Roar.

Jerry Douglas appeared with Vince Gill on Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2004 ("Oklahoma Borderline" and "What the Cowgirls Do").

Douglas also made a cameo in the third "United Breaks Guitars" consumer protest video, all of which went viral.

Personal life[edit]

Douglas was born in Warren, Ohio, United States, and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Jill.

Awards and honors[edit]

As of 2021, Douglas has been nominated for thirty-two Grammy Awards, winning fourteen.[8]

He has received the Country Music Association's 'Musician of the Year' award three times, in 2002, 2005 and 2007.

Douglas is a 10-time recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association ("IBMA") Dobro Player of the Year Award.

In 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Douglas a National Heritage Fellowship, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.[9]

Douglas was named Artist in Residence for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008.

Douglas was honored at the 36th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado for his twenty-fifth consecutive year playing in and at the festival.

Douglas received the Bluegrass Star Award, presented by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation of Dallas, Texas, on October 15, 2016. 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.[10]

The Americana Music Association honored Jerry Douglas with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.[11]

Douglas received the key to the city of Manchester, Tennessee as well as to Coffee County during a performance at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.[12]


Studio recordings[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
US Grass US Country US US Heat US Indie US New Age
Under the Wire
  • Release date: 1986
  • Label: MCA
Changing Channels
  • Release date: 1987
  • Label: MCA
Plant Early
  • Release date: 1989
  • Label: MCA
Slide Rule
Restless on the Farm
Lookout for Hope 10 5
The Best Kept Secret
  • Release date: September 20, 2005
  • Label: Koch
  • Release date: August 19, 2008
  • Label: Koch
4 69
Jerry Christmas
  • Release date: October 13, 2009
  • Label: Koch
  • Release date: June 26, 2012
  • Label: Koch
1 168 3 29
What If
  • Release date: August 18, 2017
  • Label: Rounder


Title Details
Everything Is Gonna Work Out Fine
  • Release date: 1987
  • Label: Rounder
  • Compilation of Fluxology (1979) and Fluxedo (1982) on one CD
Best of the Sugar Hill Years

Other recordings[edit]

With Alison Krauss or Alison Krauss and Union Station[edit]

The Transatlantic Sessions[edit]


Grammy Awards[edit]

  • 1983 Best Country Instrumental Performance: "Fireball" – with The New South
  • 1994 Best Bluegrass Album: The Great Dobro Sessions
  • 2001 Album of the Year: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – various artists
  • 2001 Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group: "The Lucky One" – Alison Krauss + Union Station 2001 Best Bluegrass Album: New Favorite – Alison Krauss + Union Station 2002 Best Country Instrumental Performance: "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" with Earl Scruggs 2002 Best Country Instrumental Performance: Earl Scruggs, Gary Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Steve Martin, Leon Russell, Vince Gill, Jerry Douglas, Glen Duncan, Albert Lee, Paul Shaffer and Marty Stuart – "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
  • 2003 Best Country Instrumental Performance: "Cluck Old Hen" – Alison Krauss + Union Station
  • 2003 Best Bluegrass Album: LIVE – Alison Krauss + Union Station
  • 2004 Best Country Instrumental Performance: "Earl's Breakdown" – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Featuring Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Vassar Clements & Jerry Douglas
  • 2006 Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: "Restless" – Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • 2006 Best Country Instrumental Performance: "Unionhouse Branch" – Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • 2006 Best Country Album: Lonely Runs Both Ways – Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • 2012 Best Bluegrass Album: Paper Airplane – Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • 2015 Best Bluegrass Album: The Earls of LeicesterThe Earls of Leicester

Americana Music Association Awards[edit]

  • 2002 Instrumentalist of the Year
  • 2003 Instrumentalist of the Year
  • 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist

CMA Awards[edit]

  • 2002 Musician of the Year
  • 2005 Musician of the Year
  • 2007 Musician of the Year

IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards[edit]

  • 1990 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 1991 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 1992 Instrumental Album of the Year – Slide Rule, Jerry Douglas
  • 1992 Record Event of the Year – Slide Rule
  • 1992 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 1993 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 1994 Instrumental Album of the Year – Skip, Hop & Wobble; Douglas, Barenberg & Meyer
  • 1994 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 1995 Instrumental Album of the Year – The Great Dobro Sessions; Mike Auldridge, Curtis Burch, Jerry Douglas, Josh Graves, Rob Ickes, Oswald Kirby, Stacy Phillips, Tut Taylor, Sally Van Meter, Gene Wooten
  • 1995 Record Event of the Year – The Great Dobro Sessions
  • 1995 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 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
  • 1997 Record Event of the Year – True Life Blues—The Songs of Bill Monroe
  • 1997 Instrumental Album of the Year – Bluegrass Instrumentals, Volume 6; The Bluegrass Album Band
  • 2001 Album of the Year - "O' Brother, Where Art Thou" Soundtrack -Norman Blake, James Carter & The Prisoners, The Cox Family, Fairfield Four, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, Chris Thomas King, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, The Peasall Sisters, The Soggy Bottom Boys, Ralph Stanley, The Stanley Brothers, Gillian Welch, The Whites; Mercury/Lost Highway Records
  • 2001 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 2002 Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro
  • 2003 Album of the Year – Alison Krauss + Union Station Live, Alison Krauss + Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
  • 2003 Record Event of the Year – Will The Circle Be Unbroken Vol. III; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Matraca Berg, Sam Bush, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Vassar Clements, Iris DeMent, Rodney Dillard, Jerry Douglas, Glen Duncan, Vince Gill, Josh Graves, Jamie Hanna, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Jimmy Martin, Del McCoury, Robbie McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Jonathan McEuen, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Tony Rice, Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, Richard Watson, Glenn Worf & Dwight Yoakam
  • 2015 Entertainer of the Year - The Earls of Leicester
  • 2015 Instrumental Group of the Year - The Earls of Leicester
  • 2015 Album of the Year - The Earls of Leicester, Jerry Douglas, producer
  • 2015 Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year - "Who Will Sing For Me" - The Earls of Leicester
  • 2015 Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year - The Three Bells - Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, Rob Ickes
  • 2015 Dobro Player of the Year - Jerry Douglas
  • 2016 Entertainer of the Year - The Earls of Leicester
  • 2016 Dobro Player of the Year - Jerry Douglas

National Endowment for the Arts[edit]

  • 2004 National Heritage Fellowship[9]

Country Music Hall of Fame[edit]

  • 2008 Artist in Residence[15]

Further reading[edit]

  • Humphrey, Mark. (1998). "Jerry Douglas". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 151., ISBN 978-0195176087


  1. ^ Geoff Harrison (May 11, 2002). "An Interview with Jerry Douglas: Bluegrass for a New Century". Jambase.com. Archived from the original on May 19, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Jerry Douglas Biography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  3. ^ "Artist Information - Jerry Douglas". OPRY.com. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the Official Jerry Douglas Website". Jerrydouglas.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "REVIEW: Jerry Douglas gives bluegrass the cordon bleu treatment". Cam Fuller, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, June 28, 2018
  6. ^ "'Mountain' Summer Tour Dates Come on Down". Billboard. March 18, 2002.
  7. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "GrooveGrass biography". Allmusic. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
  8. ^ "Artist: Jerry Douglas". www.grammy.com. The Recording Academy. 2021. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Jerry Douglas: Dobro player". www.arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. n.d. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "Bluegrass Heritage Foundation official website". 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  11. ^ "Robert Plant, Buddy Miller and Justin Townes Earle Win Big at 10th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Show". Americana Music. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  12. ^ / By Brittney McKenna (June 15, 2015). "Dispatches From The BGS Stage at Bonnaroo 2015". The Bluegrass Situation. Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Earls Of Leicester". Rounder.com. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Leftover Feelings: Credits". AllMusic. 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  15. ^ "Artist-in-Residence: Jerry Douglas". Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 23, 2017.

External links[edit]

None recognized before
AMA Instrumentalist of the Year
Succeeded by
Jerry Douglas
Preceded by
Jerry Douglas
AMA Instrumentalist of the Year
Succeeded by