August 19, 1997: Musician "Curly" Ray Cline Dies

Curly Ray Cline

Musician “Curly” Ray Cline died on August 19, 1997, at age 64. The Logan County native was one of the best bluegrass fiddlers ever to emerge from West Virginia.

In 1938, at age 15, he got together with fellow friends and relatives from Logan County to form the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers. For the first decade, the band had an old-time music sound.

That changed in 1949, when they were joined by Larry Richardson on banjo and Bobby Osborne on mandolin. Overnight, the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers became one of the pioneers of bluegrass music.

Here’s a clip of Curly Ray and the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers doing “You Broke Your Promise”:

Curly Ray Cline continued playing with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers until 1966, when he joined Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys. He stayed with Stanley until retiring from music in 1993.