Remembering Bill Yates (April 30, 1936 – January 26, 2015) was a lifetime bluegrass musician, bassist with The Country Gentlemen, and friend to everyone in the bluegrass community. Bill started performing while still a young man. An early band, the Clinch Mountain Ramblers, included his brother Wayne and the great Red Allen. Prior to his twenty year stint with The Country Gentlemen, Bill worked with bluegrass legends Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin. He worked with the Gentlemen from 1969 until he retired in ’89, but returned to performing after his longtime musical partner, Charlie Waller, passed away in 2004. No longer playing bass, Bill sang and led the stage show with Bill Yates & the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band until his passing. They featured the Gentlemen repertoire Bill had played and sung with the likes of Doyle Lawson, Bill Emerson, Jerry Douglas, Jimmy Gaudreau, Charlie Waller and many others.
About the authorI 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