Del McCoury Band at Lancaster Grand Theatre
When Delano Floyd McCoury was young, his family relocated from North Carolina to just north of the Mason Dixon Line in York County, Pennsylvania. Del's older brother, G.C., introduced the young boy to bluegrass through the music of Flatt & Scruggs. Before long, he had taken up the banjo, and by the early 1960s he was playing bluegrass in the honky tonks of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area. In 1963, Del made his first Grand Ole Opry appearances when he was recruited by Bill Monroe to join his Blue Grass Boys. Though he was hired as a banjo player, Bill soon made him into a guitar player and lead singer.
"The first time I played the Opry," recalls Del, "I wasn't in the union yet, and you had to belong to the local union in Nashville to be able to play. You could sing, but you couldn't play. So, my first night on the Opry with Bill, I sang and I didn't play. After that, Bill got me in the union. It's funny — Bill could do that. I guess he had a lot of pull here in this town."
When Del left the band the following year, he continued as a lead singer — first during a brief stint in California with the Golden State Boys, and then back in Pennsylvania with his own band, the Dixie Pals.
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