Famous Banjoists in History

Birthdays in Music

  • 1864-02-17 Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, Australian bush poet (Waltzing Matilda, The Man From Snowy River), born near Orange, New South Wales (d. 1941)
  • 1870-10-07 "Uncle" Dave Macon, American vaudeville and Grand Ole Opry banjo player, singer-songwriter and comedian, born in Smartt Station, Tennessee (d. 1952)
  • 1896-01-17 Harry Reser, American banjo player and bandleader (Sammy Kaye Show), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1965)
  • 1897-05-23 Fred Guy, American jazz banjo player and guitarist (Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra; Duke Ellington's Washingtonians) , born in Burkeville, Virginia (d. 1971)
  • 1898-02-07 Morgan Lee "Dock" Boggs, American folk and blues singer and banjo player, born in Norton, Virginia (d. 1971)
  • 1907-01-31 Emanuel Sayles, American jazz banjo player (Preservation Hall Jazz Band), born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana (d. 1986)
  • 1908-05-31 (Harold Eugene) "Gene Gifford American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and arranger (Jean Goldkette; Casa Loma Orchestra), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1970)
  • 1915-06-17 Stringbean [David Akeman], American banjoist and comedian (Hee Haw), born in Annville, Kentucky (d. 1973)
  • 1924-01-06 Earl Scruggs, American bluegrass banjo player (Flatt & Scruggs - "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"; "Ballad of Jed Clampett"), born in Flint Hill, North Carolina (d. 2012)
  • 1930-02-28 Marty Grosz, American swing and dixieland jazz guitarist, banjoist, vocalist, and composer born in Berlin, Germany
  • 1932-02-17 Charles "Buck" Trent, American banjoist and singer (Hee Haw), born in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • 1933-04-15 Roy Clark, American country and bluegrass singer, guitarist, and banjo player (Hee Haw; The Tonight Show), born in Meherrin, Virginia (d. 2018)
  • 1934-02-13 George Segal, American actor (Carbon Copy; Fun With Dick & Jane; Just Shoot Me!), and banjo player, born in Great Neck, New York (d. 2021)
  • 1937-12-30 John Hartford [Harford] American country and bluegrass banjo player, fiddler, and singer-songwriter ("Gentle on My Mind"), born in New York City (d. 2001)
  • 1938-06-16 Mickie Finn, Hugo Oklahoma, TV hostess/banjo player (Mickie Finn's)
  • 1939-08-16 Eric Weissberg, American singer and musician (Duelling Banjos), born in New York (d. 2020)
  • 1939-12-20 Bill Keith, American bluegrass and country banjoist, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2015)
  • 1940-11-17 Luke Kelly, Irish folk music singer and banjo player
  • 1945-04-19 Michael Stewart, American folk music producer, arranger, banjo player and guitarist (We Five - "You Were On My Mind"), born in Riverside County, California (d. 2002)

Person of interestSteve Martin

1945-08-14 Steve Martin, American comedian, banjo player, author and actor (Parenthood; The Jerk; Roxanne), born in Waco, Texas

Actor and Comedian Steve Martin
Actor and Comedian
Steve Martin
  • 1945-12-19 John McEuen, American bluegrass, folk-rock fiddler, guitarist, banjo, and mandolin player (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Steve Martin), born in Oakland, California
  • 1947-05-27 Marty Kristian [Vernang] British pop singer, guitarist, and banjo player (The New Seekers - "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"; Peter, Paul & Marty), born in Leipzig, Germany
  • 1948-01-03 Larry McNeeley, banjo player (Glen Campbell Hour), born in Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1948-01-27 Chuck Larsen, American country-rockabilly singer and banjo player (Snuff - "Bad, Bad, Billy")
  • 1955-07-25 "Country" Jem [Jeremy] Finer, English banjo player (Pogues-Straight to Hell), born in Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • 1958-07-10 Béla Fleck, American banjo player, born in NYC, New York
  • 1961-08-26 Jimmy Olander, American country guitarist and banjo player (Diamond Rio - "Meet in Middle"), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1965-06-03 Mike Gordon, American rock bassist, banjo player (Phish), and filmmaker, born in Sudbury, Massachusetts
  • 1977-02-21 Rhiannon Giddens, American singer, fiiddler, and banjo player (Carolina Chocolate Drops), born in Greensboro, North Carolina

Weddings in Music

  • 2016-10-15 Former "Glee" actress Dianna Agron (30) weds Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall (27) in Morocco

Deaths in Music

  • 1941-02-05 Banjo Paterson, Australian poet, author of "Walzing Matilda" (b. 1864)
  • 1952-03-22 "Uncle" Dave Macon, American vaudeville and Grand Ole Opry banjo player, singer-songwriter and comedian, dies at 81
  • 1965-09-27 Harry Reser, American banjo player and bandleader (Sammy Kaye Show), dies at 69
  • 1970-11-12 (Harold Eugene) "Gene Gifford American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and arranger (Jean Goldkette; Casa Loma Orchestra), dies at 62
  • 1971-02-07 Morgan Lee "Dock" Boggs, American folk and blues singer and banjo player, dies on his 73rd birthday
  • 1971-12-22 Fred Guy, American jazz banjo player and guitarist (Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra; Duke Ellington's Washingtonians), dies at 74
  • 1973-11-10 Stringbean, country singer/comedian/banjoist (Hee Haw), dies at 58
  • 1973-11-11 Stringbean [David Akeman], American banjoist and comedian (Hee Haw), dies at 58
  • 1986-10-05 Emanuel Sayles, American jazz banjo player (Preservation Hall Jazz Band), dies at 79
  • 1994-03-13 Danny Barker, US banjo player/guitarist (Bourbon St Black), dies at 85
  • 1994-04-05 Roy Smeck, guitarist/banjoist, dies at 94
  • 1995-05-08 Carroll Best, American bluegrass banjo player, and educator, shot to death by his brother at 64
  • 1998-02-19 Grandpa Jones, country comic/banjo wizard (Hee Haw), dies at 84
  • 2001-06-04 John Hartford [Harford], American folk and bluegrass fiddler, banjo player, and songwrite ("Gentle On My Mind"), dies at 63
  • 2012-03-28 Earl Scruggs, American bluegrass banjo player (Flatt & Scruggs - "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"; "Ballad of Jed Clampett"), dies from natural causes at 88
  • 2015-10-23 Bill Keith, American banjoist, dies at 75
  • 2020-03-22 Eric Weissberg, American singer and musician (Duelling Banjos), dies of Alzheimer’s at 80
  • 2021-03-23 George Segal, American actor (Carbon Copy; Fun With Dick & Jane; Just Shoot Me!), and banjo player, dies at 87