Coming Down from Rising Fawn: click the link at right. Rising Fawn Georgia is a small, unincorporated community in far Northwest Georgia...very near the Alabama state line, and just a few miles south of the Tennessee border. It is right off of Interstate 59.
I stumbled on this information as I was wondering what Norman and Nancy were doing these days...being 2014. This info is from July 2012, but thought you might like to know. Above is a YouTube link to an interview after he recovered and started recording again.
Flatpicking legend Norman Blake is recuperating in a hospital in Chattanooga, TN. He underwent a minor procedure following a transient ischemic attack, often described as a mini-stroke.
A statement issued over the weekend from Norman’s wife, and musical partner, Nancy Blake reads:
Norman Blake arrived at Erlanger Baroness Campus in downtown Chatanooga, Tenn. on Saturday July 21. Medical specialists diagnosed a TIA, or temporary lack of blood flow to a part of his brain. A procedure was performed to correct the narrowing in one of his arteries.
There were no signs of a heart attack, stroke or permanent brain damage. Erlanger physicians expect Mr. Blake will discharged within a few days and have a full recovery after some quite time at home to recuperate.
Nancy spoke quite highly of the hospital team…
“We have big love in our heart for the Erlanger staff who cared for Norman.”
… as did the man himself.
“My treatment could not have been better.”
Cards and well-wishes can be sent to:
c/o Scott O’Malley & Associates
PO Box 9188
Colorado Springs, CO 80932
Although he is proficient with a variety of stringed instruments, Norman Blake is famous for his acoustic guitar skills -- he was one of the major bluegrass guitarists of the '70s. Blake came into view in the late '60s, when he began performing as a sideman with artists as diverse as June Carter and Bob Dylan. During the '70s, he began a solo career that quickly became one of the most popular and musically adventurous within bluegrass. He continued recording and performing -- occasionally with his wife, Nancy -- well into the '90s. Blake began playing music professionally when he was 16 years old, joining the Dixieland Drifters as a mandolinist in 1954; the group debuted on , a radio show based in Knoxville. After two years, he left the band and became a member of the Lonesome Travelers, which was led by banjoist Bob Johnson. By the end of the '50s, the Lonesome Travelers had added a second banjoist, Walter Forbes, and had made two records for RCA. Although he joined Hylo Brown & the Timberliners in 1959, Blake continued to perform with Johnson. The following year, he also became a member of June Carter's touring band.
In 1961, Blake was drafted into the Army, where he was stationed in Panama. While he was in the service, he was a radio operator on the Panama Canal and he formed a band called the Kobbe Mountaineers. The band became a popular attraction and was voted the best band in the Caribbean Command. In 1962, Blake recorded 12 Shades of Bluegrass with the Lonesome Travelers while he was on leave. He was discharged from the Army the following year and moved to Nashville. Once he was in Nashville, Blake joined Johnny Cash's band. That same year, he married Nancy Short and settled in Chattanooga, TN. For the next few years he played with Cash, both on recordings and concerts. In 1969, Bob Dylan hired Blake to play on his country-rock album Nashville Skyline, providing the guitarist a whole new audience. That audience expanded even further when he became Cash's main guitarist on the singer's television show. Cash's program featured a wide array of musical guests, who were often impressed with Blake's talents. Kris Kristofferson asked him to join his touring band and Norman did so, playing both guitar and Dobro; he also played on several of Kristofferson's records. Blake also played on several of Joan Baez's records, including her hit version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."
Following his folk and country-rock experiments, Blake returned to his bluegrass roots in 1971 when he joined John Hartford's band,Aeroplane, which also featured fiddler Vassar Clements. Aeroplane fell apart quickly, but Blake stayed with Hartford for a year and a half. In 1972, Norman recorded his first solo album, Back Home in Sulphur Springs, which began a long relationship with Rounder Records. This arrangement lasted through Blake's 1990 album Norman Blake and Tony Rice 2, a follow-up to an earlier collaboration with Tony Rice. Most of Blake's output in the '90s was released on the equally venerable Shanachie label, including 1999's 'Be Ready Boys: Appalachia to Abilene'. 'Far Away, Down on a Georgia Farm' arrived that same year, followed by 'Flower from the Fields of Alabama' in 2001. Blake teamed up with Ukrainian fiddler/mandolin player Peter Ostroushko for 2002's 'Meeting on Southern Soil' in February of the following year, with the compilation 'Old Ties' arriving later that spring. Norman and Nancy put out 'Morning Glory Ramblers' in 2004 and 'Back Home in Sulphur Springs' in 2006. Norman released 'Shacktown Road' in early 2007, following it with 'Sleepy Eyed Joe in 2009'. ~ Kurt Wolff, Rovi
- Back Home in Sulphur Springs (Rounder, 1972)
- The Fields of November (Flying Fish, 1974)
- Old and New (Flying Fish, 1975)
- Norman Blake/Tut Taylor/Sam Bush/Butch Robins/Vassar Clements/David Holland/Jethro Burns (Flying Fish, 1976)
- Live at McCabe's (Takoma, 1976)
- Norman Blake and Red Rector (Country, 1976)
- Whiskey Before Breakfast (Rounder, 1976)
- Blackberry Blossom (Flying Fish, 1977)
- Directions (Takoma, 1978)
- Rising Fawn String Ensemble (Rounder, 1979)
- Full Moon on the Farm (Rounder, 1981)
- Original Underground Music from the Mysterious South (Rounder, 1983)
- Nashville Blues (Rounder, 1984)
- Lighthouse on the Shore (Rounder, 1985)
- The Norman & Nancy Blake Compact Disc (Rounder, 1986)
- Natasha's Waltz (Rounder, 1987)
- Slow Train through Georgia (Rounder, 1987)
- Blake & Rice (Rounder, 1987)
- Blind Dog (Rounder, 1988)
- Norman Blake and Tony Rice 2 (Rounder, 1990)
- The Fields of November/Old and New (Flying Fish, 1992)
- Just Gimme Somethin' I'm Used To (Shanachie, 1992)
- While Passing Along This Way (Shanachie, 1994)
- The Hobo's Last Ride (Shanachie, 1996)
- Chattanooga Sugar Babe (Shanachie, 1998)
- Be Ready Boys: Appalachia to Abilene - with Rich O'Brien (Plectrafone Records/Western Jubilee, 1999)
- Far Away, Down on a Georgia Farm (Shanachie, 1999)
- Flower From the Fields of Alabama (Shanachie, 2001)
- Old Ties (Rounder, 2002)
- Meeting on Southern Soil (Red House, 2002)
- The Morning Glory Ramblers (Plectrafone Records/Western Jubilee, 2004)
- Back Home in Sulphur Springs [Norman & Nancy Blake] (Plectrafone Records/Western Jubilee, 2006)
- Shacktown Road (Plectrafone Records/Western Jubilee, 2007)
- Look A-Yonder Comin' (State Archives of Florida, 2008) (A bluegrass compilation featuring Norman and Nancy Blake)
- Rising Fawn Gathering (Plectrafone Records/Western Jubilee, 2009)
- Sleepy Eyed Joe (2009)
- Green Light on the Southern (Plectrafone Records/Western Jubilee, 2010)
Blake appears on the following soundtracks as either musician or arranger:
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) (Mercury 088170)
- Cold Mountain (2003) (DMZ / Columbia 86843)
- Walk the Line (2005) (Wind-Up Records)
- Norman Blake's Guitar Techniques No. 1 (Homespun, 1990 VHS, 2003 DVD)
- Mandolin of Norman Blake (Homespun, 1992 VHS, 2005 DVD)
- My Dear Old Southern Home (Shanachie, 1994 VHS, 2003 DVD)
- Legends of Flatpicking Guitar (Vestapol, 1995 VHS, 2001 DVD)
- The Video Collection 1980-1995 (Vestapol, 1996 VHS, 2004 DVD)
- Great Guitar Lessons - Bluegrass Flatpicking (Homespun, 2000 VHS, 2006 DVD)
- Norman Blake's Guitar Techniques No. 2 (Homespun, 2001, 2003 DVD)