Band Members

James Roy "Pop" Lewis

Born: September 22, 1905 in Pickens , South Carolina Death: March 23, 2004 in Washington , Georgia Primary Instrument: Bass

Blanche Pauline "Mom" Lewis

Born: June 20, 1910 in Washington , Georgia Death: February 8, 2003 in Washington , Georgia Primary Involvement: Tour Support

Nannie Omega "Miggie" Lewis

Born: May 22, 1926 in Augusta , Georgia Primary Involvement: Vocalist

James Wallace Lewis

Born: July 6, 1928 in Lincolnton , Georgia Death: May 16, 2007 in Washington , Georgia Primary Instrument: Guitar

Talmadge Lewis

Born: December 31, 1934 in Lincolnton , Georgia Primary Instrument: Fiddle

Polly Lewis Williamson Copsey

Born: January 23, 1937 in Lincolnton , Georgia Primary Involvement: Vocalist

Janis Lewis Phillips

Born: February 13, 1939 in Lincolnton , Georgia Primary Involvement: Vocalist

Roy M. "Little Roy" Lewis

Born: February 24, 1942 in Lincolnton , Georgia Primary Instrument: Banjo

Travis Lewis

Born: December 26, 1958 in Greenwood , South Carolina Primary Instrument: Bass

Lewis Phillips

Born: April 5, 1972 in Washington , Georgia Primary Instrument: Banjo

Composed

BMI’s database credits Wallace and Polly with 84 published compositions, co-compositions, and arrangements. “Pop” Lewis also wrote some of the songs.

  • “A Beautiful City”
  • “I’m Not Alone”
  • “Nearer Home”

Early Influences

  • Masters Family Johnson Family Chuck Wagon Gang Bill Monroe Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys Ralph and Carter Stanley

Came to Fame With

  • The Lewis Family, 1951

Performed With

  • The Lewis Family, 1951 – 2009

By the Way

  • Instrumentalist “Little Roy” Lewis won a banjo contest, held at the Lincolnton, Georgia, high school auditorium, at age 8 in 1950. At a slightly older age, he recalls walking to the highway to watch Flatt & Scruggs’ bus go by on the way to weekly television tapings.
  • Group parents “Mom” and “Pop” Lewis were married 77 years.
  • Had a weekly television show on WJBF in Augusta, Georgia, for 38 years that was later syndicated. Among their fans in the Memphis market was Elvis Presley
  • Due to the long-running popularity of “Pop” Lewis’ signature song, “Just One Rose Will Do,” he received 100 red roses on his 89th birthday in 1994 from the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
  • One of the Lewis Family’s touring buses once belonged to country music star Conway Twitty.
  • A portion of Georgia Highway 378 in Lincoln County was dedicated in memory “Pop” Lewis.

Led the Way

  • One of the first family bands devoted exclusively to bluegrass gospel music.
  • One of the first bluegrass bands to utilize television on a regular basis; their program was eventually syndicated to 25 markets.
  • One of the first bluegrass bands to effectively market merchandise to fans at personal appearances.
  • One of the first bluegrass bands to utilize custom bus coaches to travel to performances.
  • Has released over 80 album, CD, video, and DVD projects.
  • Inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, 1992.
  • IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award, 1992.
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame, 2006
  • Numerous other awards and honors

Composed

BMI’s database credits Wallace and Polly with 84 published compositions, co-compositions, and arrangements. “Pop” Lewis also wrote some of the songs.

  • “A Beautiful City”
  • “I’m Not Alone”
  • “Nearer Home”

Early Influences

  • Masters Family Johnson Family Chuck Wagon Gang Bill Monroe Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys Ralph and Carter Stanley

Came to Fame With

  • The Lewis Family, 1951

Performed With

  • The Lewis Family, 1951 – 2009

By the Way

  • Instrumentalist “Little Roy” Lewis won a banjo contest, held at the Lincolnton, Georgia, high school auditorium, at age 8 in 1950. At a slightly older age, he recalls walking to the highway to watch Flatt & Scruggs’ bus go by on the way to weekly television tapings.
  • Group parents “Mom” and “Pop” Lewis were married 77 years.
  • Had a weekly television show on WJBF in Augusta, Georgia, for 38 years that was later syndicated. Among their fans in the Memphis market was Elvis Presley
  • Due to the long-running popularity of “Pop” Lewis’ signature song, “Just One Rose Will Do,” he received 100 red roses on his 89th birthday in 1994 from the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
  • One of the Lewis Family’s touring buses once belonged to country music star Conway Twitty.
  • A portion of Georgia Highway 378 in Lincoln County was dedicated in memory “Pop” Lewis.

Led the Way

  • One of the first family bands devoted exclusively to bluegrass gospel music.
  • One of the first bluegrass bands to utilize television on a regular basis; their program was eventually syndicated to 25 markets.
  • One of the first bluegrass bands to effectively market merchandise to fans at personal appearances.
  • One of the first bluegrass bands to utilize custom bus coaches to travel to performances.
  • Has released over 80 album, CD, video, and DVD projects.
  • Inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, 1992.
  • IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award, 1992.
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame, 2006
  • Numerous other awards and honors

From the Archives

From the Archives: The Lewis family performance on August 23, 1983 in Milan Michigan. Donated by Jacklyn Lester.

From the Archives: the Lewis Family at the Berkshire Mountains Festival, late 1970's. Photo by Ron Petronko.

“Flatt & Scruggs played Augusta the night Hank Williams died. That was the first time I saw them in person. We used to go sit in our car under a chinaberry tree everyday at 1:00 p.m. to listen to them over the car radio when they had a program in Raleigh, North Carolina.”
“Little Roy” Lewis, quoted by Don Rhodes, from “On The Hallelujah Turnpike With the Lewis Family,” Bluegrass Unlimited, June, 1980.
“I don’t care where we go. Home looks good to me when we drive into Lincolnton.”
“Mom” Lewis, quoted by Don Rhodes, from “On The Hallelujah Turnpike With the Lewis Family,” Bluegrass Unlimited, June, 1980.
“Bill [Monroe] is one of the main reasons why our gospel music has a bluegrass sound. I’ve said several times that if we’re on the wrong road with bluegrass gospel, then Bill is responsible for it.”
“Pop” Lewis, quoted in liner notes to Road of Life / Bill Monroe, MCA 426, 1974.
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