Nov. 30, 1945 – June 26, 2015 Remembering Steve Waller

Remembering Steve Waller (Nov. 30, 1945 – June 26, 2015) grew up between homes in Sale Creek, Tenn., and La Grande, Oregon. He was surrounded by music and regularly sang and played in the family band or with friends. After graduating high school in La Grande, he attended Oregon State University where he studied engineering before completing an M.S. degree in Psychology. He briefly served with the U.S. Army and was a member of the U.S. National Guard. A pioneer of Oregon bluegrass music, Steve was a founding member of the Sawtooth Mountain Boys as well as the Oregon Bluegrass Association. In the 45-year history of the Sawtooth Mountain Boys, the band developed a vast following, released several albums and embarked on three European tours. As emcee, Steve was known for his hard-driving prowess on the mandolin, baritone vocals and witty banter on stage. He inspired and mentored countless other bluegrass musicians. Steve was also a self-employed carpenter/general contractor dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings. He had an enthusiastic passion for period homes, including Victorian and Craftsman styles, and worked on several restoration projects throughout the Willamette Valley. He was strongly committed to civil rights, social justice and environmental issues. He was a lover of science, animals, public discourse, history and world travel. Over the last few years, he greatly enjoyed engaging his large network of Facebook friends in every topic from music to local wine.

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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