Bassist Smilin Jay McDowell (BR5-49)

Smilin' Jay McDowell

June 11, 1969, Bedford, IN

According to Jay, his career as a professional musician didn't take off until he made a huge change. The inspiration for Jay's transformation began when he told his friends that the songs they were playing would sound better with a stand-up bass. Without his prior acknowledgement, they were thinking the same thing. As a result, they asked him to be the bass player. When Jay and his new band mates played together for the first time, something clicked. They knew they had something special. What Jay lacked in experience, he made up in his understanding of the band’s repertoire. His transformation was complete. He switched from guitar to stand-up bass. The change in instruments, took Jay on a journey of rediscovery through his record collection. He went through his old albums and he focused on what the bass was doing instead of the guitar. “It was like hearing Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley for the first time again.” ~ Musicians Hall Of Fame: Smilin' Jay McDowell ~ October 2013 © Musicians Hall Of Fame

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June 11, 1960 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Jimmy Jones, Good Timin' ~ #2 (2) Elvis Presley with the Jordanaires, Stuck On You ~ #1 (1) the Everly Brothers, Cathy's Clown



In the mid-1990s, mainstream country music had evolved into a commercially successful pop-music hybrid that left many young traditionalists out in the cold. Such performers longed to combine modern rock sound with the influence of the big legends of country music, including Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Carl Perkins, and Merle Haggard. Acts like Wayne Hancock, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, and the Derailers existed outside popular country's mainstream, carving out a sound all their own and playing in small clubs that otherwise featured the indie rockers of the time. BR5-49, named for a telephone number in a Hee Haw television skit, came together in country music's heartland, Nashville, Tennessee, and rose to the top of this crossover country-music insurgence. ~ Musicianguide: BR5-49 ~ retrieved December 21, 2013 © Musicianguide

BR5-49 ~ Big Backyard Beat Show (1998) ~ Ranked #89 #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time in 2012

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