March 31 Happy Birthday Phil Leadbetter

Happy Birthday Phil Leadbetter (born March 31, 1962) is one of the leading players of the resonator guitar. In 1994, Phil received a Grammy Nomination for “Best Bluegrass Album” at the 37th Annual Grammy Awards for his work with J. D. Crowe and the New South on the album “Flashback”. In 2005 and 2014 he was voted International Bluegrass Music Association “Dobro Player Of The Year”. That year he also won “Instrumental Album Of The Year” for his CD “Slide Effects”. His song “California Cottonfields” held the #1 spot on the National Bluegrass Chart for two consecutive months in 2005. The Phil Leadbetter Signature Dobro, manufactured by the Gibson Guitar Corporation, features a square neck for steel guitar playing and a single inverted-cone resonator, features solid wood construction, and is the only guitar being made today which bears the name “Dobro”. In April 2011, Phil was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After 15 months of very intense chemotherapy he improved, and in late August 2012, Phil entered a stem cell program which totally healed the cancer as of Dec. 20, 2012. He returned to performing in February 2013 as a member of The Dale Ann Bradley Band. Phil also released a new CD titled “The Next Move” in the Fall of 2015 and was inducted into The Atlanta Country Music Hall Of Fame on November 28th, 2015.

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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