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Greenbriar Boys

The Greenbriar Boys

The Greenbriar Boys were a seminal northern bluegrass music group who first got together in jam sessions in New York's Washington Square Park. Along with the New Lost City Ramblers, their urban traditional country sound inspired a generation of musicians and fans. Son of an Armenian poet, guitarist/vocalist John Herald, joined with classically trained banjo player Bob Yellin and mandolin player/folklorist, Ralph Rinzler. In 1962, they released their first eponymous album on Vanguard. Three more albums followed: Ragged but Right! in 1964, Dian and the Greenbriar Boys in 1965, and Better Late Than Never in 1966 (with the additions of mandolinist/vocalist Frank Wakefield, who replaced Rinzler, and fiddler, Jim Buchanan). The 1966 album included the original recorded version of Mike Nesmith's "Different Drum", which was made into a hit song the following year by the Stone Poneys. By the last album, Rinzler had left to become director of the folklife area at the Smithsonian Institution which now bears his name. The Greenbriar Boys disbanded in the late 60's, reuniting occasionally in later years. John Herald released albums with The John Herald Band and a solo album, in 2000, Roll On John, before committing suicide in 2005.

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