Delano Floyd McCoury was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1939. He began his career in the 1960s playing with the great Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. At first, McCoury was hired as a banjo player, but eventually graduated to lead vocals and rhythm guitar — a coveted position in the first generation of big time bluegrassers.
McCoury, who is now 76 years old, is known for his perfectly tailored suits, extravagantly coiffed hair, and high tenor voice. And would you believe that he nearly ended his career after his tenure with Monroe?
It's true — in the '70s, the guitarist took up a few construction and logging jobs (see this vintage photo of McCoury with a pile of wood he chopped for reference) but returned to playing professionally in the 1980s.
Since then, he has become one of the world’s most beloved bluegrass musicians … and rightfully so. He has remained true to the traditions of the genre — from the sartorial splendor of his stage appearance to his repertoire of classics — while creating a new and youthful audience with his family band’s incendiary live performances.
Drawing from a Spotify-approved list of albums McCoury has cut with his boys (Ronnie and Robbie) as the Del McCoury Band, we offer this excellent playlist of songs that draws from some of their best albums, like The Cold Hard Facts, It’s Just the Night, The Company We Keep, and The Promise Land.
Photo Credit: Michael Verity