"The Life & Music of Curly Seckler" by Penny Parsons (Univ. of Illinois Press) 241 pages, softbound. Anyone who has followed the life and career of Curly Seckler will have a hard time putting this book down. Penny Parsons --who has written many an article for Bluegrass Unlimited and other publications --has done an amazing and masterful job in documenting the life of one of the great sidemen in Bluegrass. Really, "Seck" as he was known, was not only a super sideman, but a notable artist in his own right. But he was content to keep somewhat in the background for the most part, and the list of groups he worked with was huge: apart from his most notable gig with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Curly played in the bands of the Stanley Brothers, Charlie Monroe, The Sauceman Brothers, Jim & Jesse and others. Through multiple interviews, Ms. Parsons appears to have covered all the bases in this fascinating account of what things were like for most country musicians from back in the 1930s and 40s right up to the 1970s and 80s, and the life and career of one specific musician. The book is jammed full of fascinating detail, and thanks to Curly's great memory, and Ms. Parsons superb interviewing skills, it seems like no stone is left unturned, even including dates and places of notable shows and the many radio jobs that Curly recalled from his lengthy career (Seckler is 96 years old as this is written). Ms. Parsons writes in a straightforward, easy to read style, and there is an excellent index and extensive notes for those who like to "hop around". There is so much more we could mention, but we'll just give it our HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
Foreword by Eddie Stubbs