BMI’s database credits Eddie Adcock with 134 published compositions, co-compositions, and arrangements. A few of his original songs and collaborations are:

  • “Another Lonesome Morning”
  • “El Dedo”
  • “Turkey Knob”
  • “Nightwalk”
  • “Let’s”
  • “The Sentence”

Early Influences

  • Merle Travis
  • Ralph Stanley
  • Les Paul
  • Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West
  • Don Reno
  • Andres Segovia

Came to Fame With

  • Classic Country Gentlemen, 1958-70.

Performed With

  • James River Playboys, 1948 or 9-1953
  • Smokey Graves and His Blue Star Boys, 1954-1955
  • Mac Wiseman and the Country Boys, 1956
  • Bill Harrell and the Rocky Mountain Boys, 1956-1957
  • Buzz Busby and the Bayou Boys, 1957
  • The Stoneman Family, 1957
  • Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, 1958
  • The Country Gentlemen, 1958-1970
  • The Clinton Special, 1970
  • II Generation, 1971-1980
  • Eddie and Martha Adcock, 1976 to present
  • Adcock (country-rock band), 1978-1984
  • David Allan Coe, 1984-1985
  • Talk Of The Town, 1985-1993
  • The Masters, 1990
  • Adcock, Gaudreau, Waller & Gray (Country Gentlemen Reunion Band), 2008


  • One of the first musicians to introduce rock, jazz, blues, gospel, rockabilly and folk elements into bluegrass.
  • One of the few truly original banjo stylists, incorporating a self-invented single-string, a pedal-steel style, string-bending, a rhythmic thumb style, an energetic bounce, and unlimited improvisation.
  • Acknowledged by Bill Monroe as the Blue Grass Boys’ best baritone singer.
  • Invented a number of items of musical and sound equipment, including the Gitbo, a double-necked instrument incorporating an electric guitar and electrified acoustic banjo, 1978.
  • Multi-Grammy nominee.
  • Muleskinner News Entertainer of the Year, 1974.
  • Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, 1987.
  • IBMA Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year for The Masters, CMH Records, 1990.
  • IBMA Recorded Event of the Year for Classic Country Gents Reunion, Sugar Hill Records, 1990.
  • MIRL Instrumentalist of the Year, 1991.
  • SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Greats, 1993.
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame, 1996.
  • America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame, 1996.
  • Bill Monroe Hall of Fame, 2005.
  • Washington Monument Award, 2012.
  • Served on boards of IBMA and the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.

By the Way

  • Set two track records at the Manassas, Virginia, drag-racing track.
  • Held a variety of jobs while pursuing his musical quest, including auto mechanic, heating and air conditioning repairman, sheet-metal mechanic, laundry deliverer, dump truck driver, auto parts salesman, and gas station owner.
  • Pursued a successful side career providing sound amplification for bluegrass festivals as Adcock Audio, 1970s-2006.
  • Played banjo while undergoing groundbreaking brain surgery (seen in video and print worldwide) at Vanderbilt
  • University Medical Center in 2008 and 2011, earning him the title “The Bionic Banjo Man.”
  • Hosts numerous good-works benefit concerts, including an annual event for the homeless of Nashville, TN, since 2000.

From the Archives

“I love bluegrass, and I love bluegrass people, but they aggravate me to think that they can go out and have them a good job and make big money and put money in the bank and drive a fine car around… but tell me that I can’t do what they’re doing. I’m not allowed to have any money. I’ve got to play bluegrass or else. They just don’t understand that I like bluegrass, but I’ve got to eat, too.”
Quoted by Robert Kyle in Blueprint (date unknown); reprinted in Don Rhodes, “Finding Their Place in Bluegrass Music: Eddie and Martha Adcock,” Bluegrass Unlimited, April 1982.
“I like the gospel stuff we [the Country Gentlemen] did. I thought the gospel stuff we did in the early days… sorry all you guys out in bluegrass land, but I thought we had the edge on everybody then, and anybody since as far as on-stage gospel.”
Quoted by Gary Reid in the booklet to Country Gentlemen: The Early Recordings, 1962-1971, Rebel Records, 1998.
“There’s a river of notes going by at all times; I’m a fisherman – I just throw the hook in. The secret is not to dislike [any form of] music whatsoever – I love everything, and I listen to everything. I love Van Halen; I love Bill Monroe.”
Quoted by Bill Vernon in “Eddie Adcock and Talk of the Town: Band on the Cutting Edge,” Bluegrass Unlimited, January 1987.