Bluegrass Pioneer Everett Lilly Gone at 87

Image634721444725172000Everett Lilly, the younger of The Lilly Brothers, passed away at his home at Clear Creek in Raleigh County on Tuesday.  He was 87.   Funeral arrangements are incomplete. The family has asked in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Everett Lilly Memorial Fund at City National Bank in Beckley.

Lilly was one of the pioneers of bluegrass music.  Along with is brother Bea who died in 2005, the Lilly Brothers began performing on Beckley radio station WJLS soon after World War II.  They moved on to perform in Wheeling and then Nashville.  During the 1950's they played with Flatt and Scruggs regularly on the Grand Ole Opry.

Everett Lilly replaced Curly Seckler in Flatt & Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys and his inclusion changed the band’s sound tremendously as he wasn’t restricted to mainly rhythm playing.

The Lilly Brothers are credited with bringing bluegrass to New England and with influencing such future bluegrass artists as Peter Rowan, Joe Val and Bill Keith, among others. The pair is also credited with bringing bluegrass music to Japan.  Joe Val once said of The Lilly Brothers’ influence on urban Massachusetts, “Those guys hit on like a bombshell. Nobody’d ever heard anything like that before.”

In 1986. the Lilly Brothers were inducted into the Massachusetts Country Music Hall of Fame and the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2002.  IN 2009, Everett was awarded the Vandalia Award--which is the highest honor a West Virginia folk singer can receive.  

Most recently, Lilly had been performing with his group called "The Lilly Mountaineers" which included his two sons.

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