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Del McCoury Biography

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Birth Name: Delano Floyd McCoury
Born: 1939/02/01
Birth Place: York, Pennsylvania
Years Active: 1958 - present
Genres: Bluegrass, Country

Del McCoury (born Delano Floyd McCoury, February 1, 1939 in Bakersville, North Carolina) is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo respectively. McCoury became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in October 2003. In June 2010, he received a National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2011 he was elected into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

McCoury has had a long career in bluegrass. Although originally hired as banjo player, he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1963, with whom he first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. McCoury briefly appeared with the Golden State Boys in 1964 before taking a series of day jobs in construction and logging, while continuing to work as an amateur musician in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

He is best known as the leader of what would be known as the Del McCoury Band. Originally known as Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals with Del on guitar and his brother Jerry on bass, the band went through a number of changes until the 1980s when the band solidified its line-up, adding McCoury's sons, Ronnie and Robbie on mandolin and banjo, respectively. In 1988, the "Dixie Pals" name was dropped in favor of the current name. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined in the early 1990s while the band became a national touring act.

Their debut album, “Blue Side of Town” was released in 1992 by Rounder Records. The band recorded with Steve Earle on his 1999 album “The Mountain.” It reached #19 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

The band’s album, “Del and The Boys,” released in 2001, went to #11 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. In 2003, their album “It’s Just the Night,” reached #4 on the Bluegrass albums chart, the first of six consecutive Top 5 releases on the chart. In 2004 they were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for “It's Just the Night, “and in 2006 they won that category for their 2005 album “The Company We Keep.”

In 2008 they released “Moneyland” which became their first album to reach #1 on the Bluegrass Albums chart. In 2011 they issued a collaboration with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “American Legacies.”