Interview with Bill Yates, April 1, 2010
Project: Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project
Interview SummaryBill Yates, a notable bluegrass bassist, begins the interview by discussing his upbringing in rural Virginia. Yates recalls when his family moved to Washington, D.C. during World War II to seek better economic opportunities and job prospects for his coal miner father. Yates spent his adolescence in Northern Virginia and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Yates' music career began as a side gig with his brother while working as a mechanic full-time in Arlington, Virginia. Yates evaluates the influence of the Country Gentlemen on his musical style. Additionally, Yates details his music career with his brother, initially forming the Clinch Mountain Ramblers. Subsequently, Yates worked with Red Allen and Roy Clark in Nashville. Yates also had the opportunity to work with Jimmy Martin and Paul Williams. Yates shares some interesting stories of working with Flatt and Scruggs. Yates describes his friendship with Bill Monroe. Yates details the booking process for shows at the beginning of his career. Yates reflects upon his time playing with the Country Gentlemen, including changes in style, going on an international tour, and how being in the band influenced his career. After leaving the Country Gentlemen, Yates took a step back from music and became a bus driver. During this time, he recorded an album with his brother. Yates highlights his work with the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band. Yates concludes the interview by discussing some of his greatest accomplishments as a musician.
Interview KeywordBluegrass music Country music Wayne Yates (Artist) The Country Gentlemen (Artist) Clinch Mountain Ramblers (Artist) Red Allen (Artist) Bass players Bass Roy Clark (Artist) Jimmy Martin (Artist) Paul Williams (Artist) Lester Flatt (Artist) Earl Scruggs (Artist) Flatt and Scruggs (Artist) Bill Monroe (Artist) Recording sessions Bill Emerson (Artist) Banjos Banjo players Touring Country Gentlemen Tribute Band (Artist) Accomplishments World War II Great Depression
Interview LC SubjectBrothers World War, 1939-1945 Virginia Depressions--1929 Poverty Washington (D.C.) Manassas (Va.) Military United States. Air Force Albums Nashville (Tenn.) International travel Japan England Switzerland Bus drivers Awards Success Bluegrass music. Bluegrass musicians Musical performance Music--Performance.
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Yates, Bill Interview by Bob Webster. 01 Apr. 2010. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Yates, B. (2010, April 01). Interview by B. Webster. Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Yates, Bill, interview by Bob Webster. April 01, 2010, Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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