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Bluegrass History Lesson

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  • Mark Gensman
    CHUBBY DULLARD 1907 - 1928 A HISTORY Born February 12, 1907 in a cabin outside Rosine, Kentucky, the home of Bill Monroe, Chubby was originally to be named
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2003
      1907 - 1928

      Born February 12, 1907 in a cabin outside Rosine, Kentucky, the home of Bill
      Monroe, Chubby was originally to be named David. However, being born at over
      19 pounds, he was called Chubby from the moment of birth until he died.

      Chubby loved music. At the age of one he would crawl up the steps of the
      family porch and sit between the legs of his father during many evening jams
      and usually only leave when someone stepped on him. At
      the age of three, even though he was unable to hold an instrument, Chubby
      still managed to make music when he discovered he could shake the family dog
      in tempo with the band.

      At the age of five, Chubby began to play a small fiddle his father had made
      for him out of a snow shoe frame and some cat gut strings. Using a bow taken
      from a small Indian child, Chubby was making music
      even at this early age.

      Chubby met Bill Monroe while both were attending school in Rosine in 1916.
      Although Chubby was older, a difficulty with everything except fiddle
      playing placed him in the same classroom with Bill. The
      rest, as they say, is history.

      Chubby and Bill enjoyed many a jam session until a freak squirrel hunting
      accident involving a wounded squirrel left Chubby with a painful injury to
      the left side of his jaw. He was unable to hold his favorite fiddle anymore
      and decided he needed an acoustic instrument that would be able to play
      fiddle parts.

      After trying several instruments, Chubby discovered the saxophone and
      realized he had an instrument that not only sounded good and could play
      fiddle parts but could also be used for calling geese and elk if the
      pantry got low. Since the �rules of bluegrass� had not yet been written by
      followers of Bill Monroe and Bill himself had played with his mother on
      accordion and had played with harmonica and flute players, the addition of
      the saxophone was, to say the least, no big deal to Bill. After all, back
      then it was about the music.

      Bill and Chubby wrote many wonderful songs that would eventually become
      known by that most honorary name �slugbait� and in early 1928, Chubby and
      Bill found a friend who had a recording studio in his barn. They decided to
      record as many of their songs as they could and eventually recorded over
      twenty five songs to vinyl. Unfortunately, this took them until the end of
      1928 and that was to be Chubby�s last year on this earth.

      Riding in his buckboard on the way to a recording session, the right front
      wheel came off as the wagon was rounding a corner and the buckboard tipped
      over. This was in the days before the saxophone case
      was invented so Chubby simply had it laying on the seat. Unfortunately the
      saxophone fell out of the buckboard and landed gooseneck up while Chubby
      fell out of the buckboard and landed bottom side down...On the saxophone. It
      was a tragic and painful, although tuneful, ending to a rich musical life.

      Bill Monroe, being nearly inconsolable over the loss of his friend, left
      Rosine the next year and never could bring himself to be onstage with
      another saxophone player. The �Chubby Dullard Sessions� lay
      abandoned until 2002 when a Bill Monroe fan, after drinking too much Samual
      Adams beer, backed his $200,000 motorhome into the long abandoned barn.
      The songs have been discovered...Chubby Dullard Lives!

      Happy April everybody...:-).

      Mark Gensman
      Ground Zero Sound

      PS..for an mp3 of one of the long lost "Chubby Dullard Sessions" tunes
      simply ask and I'll send it to you.

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