Bluegrass banjo legend and one of the architects of bluegrass music. Curtis is the 2010 recipient of the Uncle Dave Macon Days Trailblazer Award.
Genres: Bluegrass and instrumental.
Five-string banjo legend Curtis McPeake was one of the architects of modern bluegrass music. During a career spanning 50 years in the country music business, McPeake has played long stints with several world-famous bands – including some of the biggest names in the history of bluegrass music. In the early 1950s, Curtis began to appear on the “Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs” TV show, and eventually came to be counted on by Flatt & Scruggs as a stand-in for Earl when one was needed. He filled in for Earl on many occasions until Flatt & Scruggs broke up in the late 1960s. Curtis also played with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys in 1960-61, during which time Bill first played Carnegie Hall.
Curtis McPeake’s name is spoken with something very much like reverence in the nationwide banjo community. —Bluegrass Unlimited
After leaving Bill Monroe, Curtis joined Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and worked with them throughout 1963. After this stint he signed on with WSM as a staff musician and played the Grand Ole Opry for several years. He was also much in demand as a studio artist during this time, adding his signature sound to hundreds of cuts by various artists. In 1969 Curtis left the Opry to join “Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass”, and toured around the world with them until 1987.
Curtis has also been involved with the music industry as a collector and dealer of fine vintage and new instruments, and continues that business today. (Visit McPeake’s Unique Instruments)