Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen

Bluegrass royalty Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen were playing their authentic American music long before it became popular with Hollywood or was widely familiar to mainstream America. Since their 1959 release, Traveling Dobro Blues, and 1960’s Country Songs Old & New, the Country Gentlemen have been well known among bluegrass fans and folk aficionados.

The Country Gentlemen not only helped to keep bluegrass music alive, but also expanded the definition of “bluegrass” itself, playing progressive bluegrass before the term existed. A critical part of the first wave of the folk music revival in the late ’50s, the Gentlemen made a name for themselves as a band that not only played traditional material but also brought Bob Dylan’s folk tunes and contemporary country material into the genre. With their exceptional singing and virtuoso instrumentals, the Gentlemen attracted a broad audience, ranging from traditional country/bluegrass fans to folk and soft-rock lovers.

With more than two dozen albums to their credit, the Country Gentlemen have seen a number of personnel changes over the years. Since the beginning, however, guitarist/vocalist Waller has led the band through its numerous incarnations. The other Gentlemen seen in this Jubilee performance are Greg Corbett, Darin Aldridge, and Ronnie Davis.

The album 45 Years of Memories, released in August 2002, is a showcase of the group’s most successful hits. Another good starting point for new fans is Can’t You Hear Me Callin’: Early Classics 1963-1969, which contains the early Country Gentlemen hits plus six previously unreleased tracks.

This artist appears in Jubilee #223: Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen.