Curtis McPeake, a veteran five string banjo player and recording artist, is originally from a small town of Scotts Hill in western Tennessee. He was born in 1927. He spent his boyhood years on the farm. He first started getting into music at the age of six or seven. His father bought him his first guitar in 1936. In the forties he was playing steel guitar with "The Rhodes Brothers" and had a weekly radio broadcast over WTJS Radio in Jackson, Tennessee.  Around 1950 during the Korean War is when he really switched to the banjo full time. One of the first groups that Curtis started was "Curtis McPeake and the Rocky Valley Boys" which aired six days a week over WDXL in Lexington, Tennessee. It was around 1952 or 1953 when he first met Earl Scruggs, and even appeared on some of the "Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs" TV shows. Around Christmas 1955 Earl Scruggs was seriously injured in an automobile accident, and Curtis was called to stand in for him with Lester Flatt. This was considered by Curtis to become one of his first big breaks into the music field. He continued on many occasions to fill in for Earl up until 1968 just before Lester & Earl went through their break-up in early 1969.

Curtis played with Bill Monroe for about two years, during the time when Bill played Carnegie Hall in November 1961. Curtis also recorded some eighteen sides with Bill. After leaving Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, he joined Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and worked throughout 1963 with them. After this stint Curtis signed on with WSM as a staff musician and continued to work as a studio recording musician. This continued for several years. During 1969 Curtis met Danny Davis and was invited to join him with the "Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass". He continued with Danny and the Brass up until 1987. Later he took charge of a group called the "Natchez Grass" which shortly changed its name to "Natchez Express".

Curtis has worked through out his career with several major artists. He obtained his first recording contract with ABC Paramount in 1961 and has recorded for several other companies throughout his career.

Curtis has also been involved with the music industry as a collector of fine vintage banjo's and various acoustic instruments and is in constant demand in authenticating and appraising fine vintage banjo's and various instruments.

 

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