Benny Martin life and biography

Benny Martin picture, image, poster

Benny Martin biography

Date of birth : 1928-05-08
Date of death : 2001-03-13
Birthplace : Sparta, Tennessee, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-02-25
Credited as : Country music artist, bluegrass findle,

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Benny Edward Martin was an American bluegrass fiddler who invented the 8-string fiddle.

Benny Martin was one of bluegrass music's premiere fiddlers and the inventor of the 8-string fiddle. Born to a musical family in Sparta, Tennessee, he made his debut on a local radio station when he was only eight. He played in a local band for a while and when he was 13 went to Nashville to work with Big Jeff and the Radio Playboys at WLAC. He remained with the group for nearly ten years, and also began working as a session man for Dot Records. Martin also recorded a solo album on the Pioneer label; one of his early singles, "Me and My Fiddle," became his signature song.

Frequently, Martin worked as a sideman for such performers as Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells and Flatt & Scruggs. He founded his own band in 1954 and also briefly joined the Grand Ole Opry. During the mid-'50s he was managed by Col. Tom Parker and opened for Elvis Presley 35 times. This was not a great time to be a country performer, and Martin began doing more session and sidework than solo recording. In 1963 he had his only chart hit, "Rosebuds and You." In the mid-'60s, he briefly teamed with Don Reno and recorded a gospel album. Martin continued working behind others, performing at festivals and recording frequently on various labels through the early '80s, when his health began failing.

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