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Red Allen

With a high lonesome sound heavily influenced by Bill and Charlie Monroe, Red Allen quietly took his place as one of the most talented and underrated bluegrass artists of the post-World War II era. Born in Perry County, KY, he later made his mark not far from there, first landing in Dayton, OH, at the age of 19 in 1949 after a two-year stint in the Marines. In Ohio, he became acquainted with several other musicians whom he would later collaborate with, including Frank Wakefield, the Osborne Brothers and Noah Crase. In 1954, he made his recording debut on an independent Kentucky label. In March 1956, he began an incredibly fruitful partnership with the Osborne Brothers, shortly after they had signed on with the Wheeling Jamboree, a popular radio show broadcast from the Virginia Theater in Wheeling, WV. Four months after he joined the group, they made their first recording with MGM Records, and built their audience over the next year by a steady program of touring and recording. In the spring of 1958, their song, "Once More," hit number 13 on the country charts and helped earn the band a steady following. Allen left the Osborne Brothers at the end of 1958 and took a brief break from recording before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1959 and forming the Kentuckians with Wakefield. Their relationship was extremely fruitful creatively, but ultimately too tumultuous to sustain for long, and after producing a classic album in 1964 for Smithsonian Folkways simply titled Bluegrass, they parted ways.

In 1967, Allen moved to Nashville to relieve a temporarily ailing Lester Flatt in Flatt & Scruggs. The next year he and J.D. Crowe founded the Kentucky Mountain Boys. In 1969, Allen went back to Dayton and formed a band with his sons known as Red Allen & the Allen Brothers. With his boys, he found himself again on the Wheeling Jamboree, also recording for King Bluegrass and Lemco. The '70s brought international touring for Allen but little recording. In 1979, he issued another album for Smithsonian Folkways with the Kentuckians entitled Live and Let Live. In 1980, he issued a tribute to Lester Flatt titled In Memory of the Man, and followed that album with two more recordings for Folkways, 1981's Red Allen Family & Friends and 1983's The Red Allen Tradition. Throughout the rest of the '80s and early '90s, Allen typically stayed a little closer to home, playing clubs and festivals near Dayton until his death from cancer in 1993. In 2001, Folkways issued The Folkways Years: 1964-1983, which was essentially a reissue of the 1964 Bluegrass album, plus six previously unreleased songs and a number of tracks from Allen's four other Folkways albums. The collection helped highlight some of the high points in Allen's long career, and showcased his remarkable talent as a bluegrass vocalist and guitarist. ~ Stacia Proefrock
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: In Memory Of The Man: Dedicated To Lester Flatt

1. I'll Take The Blame

2. What's Good For You

3. Over The Hill To The Poorhouse

4. Somehow Tonight

5. I'll Never Shed Another Tear

6. Give Mother My Crown

7. Going Back To Harlan

8. I'm Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling

9. Why Don't You Tell Me So

10. My Darling's Last Goodbye

11. Your Love Is Like A Flower

12. Gone Home

x

Track List: The Red Allen Tradition

1. Last Train To Clarksville

2. Victim To The Tomb

3. It's Never Too Late

4. Worry My Life Away

5. Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus

6. Lonesome Without You

7. Hippy Dippy Dan

8. Dreaming Just The Same

9. Down The Road

10. Nashville Skyline Rag

x

Track List: Red Allen And Friends

1. She's Country

2. Dig A Hole In The Meadow (Darling Corey)

3. Stone Wall

4. Bill Cheatham

5. Troubles 'round My Door

6. Hello City Lights

7. Sweet Love Ain't Around

8. Gold Watch And Chain

9. Bad News

10. Fire On The Mountain

x

Track List: Live And Let Live

1. Doing My Time

2. It's Only The Wind

3. Are You Teasing Me?

4. Angel Band

5. Troubles Around My Door

6. Billy In The Lowground

7. Live At Let Live

8. B.J. And D.J.

9. I'm Confessing

10. The Christian Life

11. Home Sweet Home

12. I Don't Love Nobody

x

Track List: Keep On Going: The Rebel & Melodeon Recordings

1. Don't Lie To Me

2. Lonesome Weary Heart

3. Sad And Lonesome Day

4. I Don't Believe You'd Do Me Wrong

5. Little Birdie

6. Faded Memory

7. Froggy Went A Courtin'

8. Sad And Lonesome Day

9. Journey's End

10. Those "Gone And Left Me" Blues

11. No Blind Ones There

12. The Family Who Prays

13. If That's The Way You Feel

14. Worry My Life Away

15. Down Where The River Bends

16. Hello City Limits

17. Out On The Ocean

18. I Don't Know Why

19. Plant Some Flowers By My Graveside

20. Close By

21. Froggy Went A Courtin'

22. Purple Heart

23. Keep On Going

x

Track List: Lonesome And Blue - The Complete County Recordings

1. Are You Waiting Just For Me

2. Whose Shoulder Will You Cry On

3. My Baby's Gone

4. Heaven

5. Summertime Is Past And Gone

6. That's How I Can Count On You

7. Purple Heart

8. I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer

9. Seven Year Blues

10. I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home

11. What About You

12. Out On The Ocean

13. We Live In Two Different Worlds

14. There Must Be Another Way To Live

15. Have You Come To Say Goodbye

16. Bluegrass Blues

17. Send Me Your Address From Heaven

18. Milk Cow Blues

19. Branded Wherever I Go

20. I'm Lonesome And Blue

21. If That's The Way You Feel

22. Maiden's Prayer

23. Love Gone Cold

24. I Wonder Where You Are Tonight

25. No Mother Or Dad

Comments

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THANX A-GAIN PANDORA, 4 BLESSIN US WITH SUCH RIGHTEOUS GEMS DAT "regular-rad i o " , just caint quite cover. Keep on T.C.B. yall.
Report as inappropriate
Red's music is as important and influential now as it was when it was recorded. He is the quintessenti a l bluegrass singer.
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t_heath
Great music.....
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Though a "Kentucky "briar," Red lived in Dayton and I am told worked in a factory. Back in the 70's as a 20 something long-haired "hippiebilli e " I frequented a club there, Sam's Bar & Grill. They played a lot of "Bluegrass & Beyond." Occassionall y Red would stop by and sit in or just sit at the bar with a bottle of Hudepohl. Unlike many of the young bucks playing new grass, Red was a real trasitionali s t in the style of Ralpf Stanley. It was there I fell in love with "roots" music and a few g

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