Talk:Don Reno

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Commentary by Taffbanjo[edit]

While this article is factually accurate, It gives no sense of the huge influence Don Reno had on the area of Country music which came to be known as Bluegrass (Bill Monroe,its originator, never liked the name; he considered himself a Country musician and always referred to it as "my music").

I have to declare an interest here: I am a big fan of the great Don's music and that of his sons Ronnie, Don Wayne and Dale. Don was, and his son's are, world class musicians.

However, the idea that anyone with any knowledge of the music would confuse the father with the son is, quite frankly, laughable.

Don Reno was one of the First Generation of bluegrass greats; along with Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, he helped to define the music's sound and its soul. If he hadn't gone to war when he did, there might not be a "scruggs" banjo style as we know it. Then again, the fact that Earl Scruggs did get in first compelled Don to modify his own banjo style. He included the fabulous single string runs and jazzy chords for which he became famous, along with the three-finger rolls popularised (but not created) by Earl Scruggs. We are all very lucky that they both came along when they did.

Don Reno was "quite talented" on guitar in the same way that Babe Ruth was "quite talented" with a baseball bat. He was not known as the King of the Flatpick Guitar for nothing. He may not have "invented" Country lead guitar, played with a flat-pick, but he figured enormously in its development. Nowadays, most of the credit goes, unfairly, to Doc Watson, who is himself another great exponent of the art.

The Bluegrass/Country Music business is a highly competitive, cut-throat business quite belying the comfortable, "down-home", Christian image its proponents would have you believe. Bluegrass today is ruled by the Scruggs/Stanley/Scaggs axis, and Don's death in 1984 meant that he quickly became a non-person in Nashville. Of course, if his name should come up, everyone pays tribute to "the Great Don" but I can't recall any of the many "Tribute to the Greats" put out by Nashville in the past couple of decades featuring Don at all.

I would be happy if someone could prove me wrong.

  • I would like to point out that over the past 30 years, Gusto Records of Nashville, has put out hundreds of bluegrass compilation albums... Gusto owns the King and Starday catalogues... Don Reno's work for King Records is usually prominently featured in these compilations... which I consider to be a sort of "Tribute to the Greats"... In fact, Gusto's 1977 release "30 Years of Bluegrass", which is still in print to this day, has at least 2 cuts by Reno and Smiley... maybe more... by the way, this was one of the first compilations issued by Gusto when they purchased the Starday/King catalogue, and is just about my favorite of the hundreds of bluegrass compilations they have released thru the years. who knows... maybe his presence on these compilations will make a bluegrass addict out of a young person lucky enough to have taken some interest in Bluegrass music and run across one of these compilations at their local Wal-Mart... I know his work helped make me a bluegrass addict. Er Wer Schrieb Es (talk) 04:41, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

(Moved from the article. Cmadler 11:16, 14 July 2006 (UTC))

Reno's childhood[edit]

I don't know enough of the details, but I do know that Reno spent at least part of his childhood in the mill village of Buffalo, SC in Union County. He was a schoolmate of my Dad's at Buffalo Elementary School.

It was not unusual for families in the 30s to split time between the mountains of Haywood County, NC and the mill villages of the SC upstate. Several families (including some of my own ancestors) migrated from Canton, Clyde, and Waynesville in Haywood County to work at Buffalo Mill and live in the mill village. 74.250.191.92 (talk) 13:57, 15 September 2010 (UTC) kdogwnc

Born[edit]

Acording to my book, (Trischka, Tony; Wernick, Pete. Masters of the 5-String Banjo: In ther Own Words and Music (em inglês). Nova Iorque: Oak Publications, 1988. 413 p. p. 81. ISBN 0-8256-0298-X) Reno was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Ricardo Ferreira de Oliveira (talk) 10:54, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

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