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Benny Martin

Benny Martin was one of bluegrass music's premiere fiddlers and the inventor of the eight-string fiddle. Born to a musical family in Sparta, Tennessee, he made his debut on a local radio station when he was only eight. He played in a local band for a while and when he was 13 went to Nashville to work with Big Jeff & the Radio Playboys at WLAC. He remained with the group for nearly ten years, and also began working as a session man for Dot Records. Martin also recorded a solo album on the Pioneer label; one of his early singles, "Me and My Fiddle," became his signature song.

Frequently, Martin worked as a sideman for such performers as Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells, and Flatt & Scruggs. He founded his own band in 1954 and also briefly joined the Grand Ole Opry. During the mid-'50s he was managed by Col. Tom Parker and opened for Elvis Presley 35 times. This was not a great time to be a country performer, and Martin began doing more session and sideman work than solo recording. In 1963 he had his only chart hit, "Rosebuds and You." In the mid-'60s, he briefly teamed with Don Reno and recorded a gospel album. Martin continued working behind others, performing at festivals and recording frequently on various labels through the early '80s, when his health began failing. Suffering from a condition known as spasmodic dysphonia, Martin remained retired for many years but re-emerged in 1999 with The Big Tiger Roars Again, Pt. 1, a star-studded tribute to the fiddler and his myriad contributions to bluegrass music through the years. The Big Tiger Roars Again, Pt. 2 appeared in 2001; Benny Martin died on March 13 of that year at the age of 72. ~ Sandra Brennan
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Bluegrass Fiddle - 22 Favorites

1. Rosebuds And You

2. Hello City Limits

3. Fireball (Instrumental)

4. 300,000 Unmarried Women In Georgia

5. Tennessee Rag (Instrumental)

6. Barn Dance Jubilee

7. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down

8. Fiddle In The Bluegrass (Instrumental)

9. Brown's Ferry Blues

10. Sweet Bunch Of Daisies (Instrumental)

11. Outcast

12. Orange Blossom Special (Instrumental)

13. One Way Or The Other

14. I'll Never Get Over Losing You

15. Pretty Girl

16. Back Up And Push (Instrumental)

17. If I Can Stay Away Long Enough

18. Other Me

19. Twin Fiddle Waltz (Instrumental)

20. Clouds Without Water

21. No One But You

22. Carry Me Home

x

Track List: "Big Tiger" Roars Again Part 2

1. One Way Or The Other

2. Each Day

3. On My Way

4. Me and My Fiddle

5. Slim Chance

6. Another World Ago

7. Too Careless To Know

8. Five By Eight

9. Tennessee Moon

10. Hillman

11. Two O'Clock

x

Track List: "Big Tiger" Roars Again Part 1

1. Good Enough Reason (Feat. John Hartford)

2. Checkin' Out On You (Feat. Del McCoury)

3. Where Is Your Heart Tonight (Feat. John Hartford)

4. Blue Writing On White Paper (Feat. John Hartford)

5. The Right Melody (Feat. Laura Weber)

6. Ice Cold Love (Feat. Buck White)

7. Money Up Front (Feat. John Hartford)

8. Secret Of Your Heart (Feat. Crystal Gayle)

9. Father Alone (Feat. Johnny Russell)

10. I Can Read Between The Lines (Feat. Jim & Jess McReynolds)

11. Will I Ever Be Happy Being Lonesome

12. If I Could Stay Away Long Enough (Feat. Vince Gill)

13. You Know That I Know (Feat. Bobby Osborne)

14. Lover Of The Town

15. Me And My Fiddle

x

Track List: Tennessee Jubilee

1. Lester, Bill And Earl

2. Sunny Side Of The Mountain

3. Windows Of My Mind

4. Will You Be Lonesome Too?

5. Someone Took My Place With You

6. Six White Horses

7. Bonaparte's Retreat

8. Smell Good On Sunday

9. That's A Good Enough Reason

10. Pig In The Pen

11. If I Had My Life To Live Over

12. Ice Cold Love

13. One Drink Too Many

14. Crag Rock Pass

x

Track List: The Fiddle Collection (Special Edition)

1. Muleskinner Blues

2. Sweet Bunch Of Daisies

3. Alabama Jubilee

4. Home Sweet Home

5. Little Footprints In The Sand

6. Georgiana

7. Back Up And Push

8. Flint Hill Special

9. Blue Moon Of Kentucky

10. Bile Em' Cabbage Down

11. Salty Dog

12. The Fiddlers Dream

13. Dueling Fiddles (Feat. Johnny Gimble)

14. Lara's Theme

15. Black Mountain Rag

16. Under The Double Eagle

17. How Will I Explain About You

18. Beautiful Dreamer

19. Foggy Mountain Breakdown

20. Ragtime Annie

21. Fire On The Mountian

22. Bury Me Beneath The Willow

23. Cotten Eyed Joe

24. Sunny Side Of The Mountain

25. Night Train To Memphis

26. Freight Train Blues

27. Cruisin' In The Blue Danubeoo

28. Lee Highway Blues

Comments

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I just love turkey soup,,, use to have it all the time at the soup kitchen !! No I wasn't volunteering there I ate there !!!
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Benny Martin had an unusual sound with his physical ability to use the bow in an unusual way.

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