Benny Martin was one of the greatest fiddle players in bluegrass music. His work with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs set a standard that remains today, and his playing is viewed by many as the greatest fiddle work ever in the genre. Aspiring bluegrass fiddlers could no better than to study his complex double-stop fiddle style heard on Dear Old Dixie, Why Did You Wander, and Flint Hill Special.
But in addition to his fiddling prowess, Benny Martin was one of country music’s rising stars in the early 1950’s and became a solo member of The Grand Ole Opry. His monumental talent, which included a rich baritone voice, instrumental virtuosity, and a charismatic stage presence, made him one of its most popular entertainers as he recorded for Starday, Decca, MGM, and Mercury. He continued to tour and perform until the mid 1980’s when health problems ravaged his voice and vision.
After years of failing health, and a deliberate reclusiveness, Benny Martin made a stunning return to music in 1999 with his release of “The ‘Big Tiger’ Roars Again (Part 1).” Performances from a stunning array of artists including Bobby Osborne, Ricky Skaggs, Johnny Russell, Del McCoury, Earl Scruggs and Vince Gill.
The release of “Part 2” is a continuation of these recordings and includes an impressive array of country and bluegrass music all-stars who joined Benny Martin on these classic recordings. “The ‘Big Tiger’ Roars Again (Part 2)” includes performances by Kitty Wells (The Queen of Country Music), John Hartford, Alison Krauss, Crystal Gayle, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Buddy Emmons, Josh Graves, The Reno Brothers, Buck White, and more.
Benny Martin died on March 13, 2001.
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