Saturday, December 5, 2009

RIP Jack Cooke (1936 - 2009)

I was sad to see the news that longtime Clinch Mountain Boy Jack Cooke passed away on Tuesday.

Jack played with the Stanley Brothers briefly in 1955 and then -- as is perhaps often forgotten -- spent four-and-a-half years as one of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. In 1970, he rejoined the Clinch Mountain Boys and has been a regular and much-loved feature of Ralph Stanley's shows ever since then. (As Ralph almost always would note, Jack was also the mayor of his hometown of Norton, Virginia, in 1963.)

I rather liked Jack's 2006 solo release Sittin' on Top of the World. He did a really nice job with "Gotta Travel On" and "My Little Georgia Rose," and the disc captured the two songs that he most frequently sang during Clinch Mountain Boys shows -- the title track and "Long Black Veil."

A big hats off to the man on the bass fiddle. Thanks for all the great music, Jack!

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