May 2, 1936 – February 1, 2018 Remembering Ralph King

Remembering Ralph King (May 2, 1936 – February 1, 2018) born in Dabolt, Kentucky, was a former member of the Kentucky Gentlemen and part of the ensemble the Traveling Crusaders led by George Brock. He was known for being a skilled banjo player and a fine tenor singer. In addition to being able to play the banjo, he could play the guitar, mandolin and Dobro.
During the 1960s King played with Vernon Bowling & the Silver Hill Boys, and later with George Brock and the Traveling Crusaders; during his time with both they recorded some excellent traditional bluegrass music for Bob Mooney’s REM label.
He helped to form the Kentucky Gentlemen in 1973 and worked with them through to 1981. During that time the Kentucky Gentlemen recorded eight albums.
Since the early 1980s King had worked with Gary Strong and Hardtimes and Sam Jones and Plumbline.
He travelled most of his life playing bluegrass shows and appeared on stage with many well-known artists, and performed on the Grand OId Opry show and in many churches, mostly in Indiana.
King retired from GTE Corporation, formerly General Telephone & Electronics Corporation, after 21 years of service and, following his retirement, he worked at CRF Residential in Connersville, Indiana, for 10 years. While there, and later in Florida, he loved to use his musical talents to witness and encourage people in the nursing homes and rehabilitation centres.
He enjoyed jam sessions with his friends and to go fishing, play golf and spend time with his family. (Richard Thompson)

About the author

I enjoy researching Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, and Country birthdays, anniversaries and interesting trivia dates. I am a piano/organ performance major who has taught privately and served as church accompanist since 1968 in North Carolina and Central Kentucky. Although classically trained, I appreciate all genres of music. My mother, who was also a church musician and taught public school music grades K-12, knew that Bluegrass music was the purest American music. She always introduced her students to this fine genre and began my musical studies with her at age 2. Bach to Berachah Valley, Mozart to Jimmy Martin, Sibelius to Stanley Brothers, the list goes on, I hope you find some moments of enjoyment and learn a few interesting facts along the way.
I am thankful for the many resources we have at our fingertips including Google. FaceBook and BluegrassBios by Wayne Rice. It was he who inspired me to tackle the task of trying to pass on knowledge about Bluegrass music. Thanks Wayne~!
Lou Ellen Wilkie

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