Bluegrass Pioneer Connie Gately Passes

Image634866962940226610Connie M. Gately,  an accomplished songwriter and bluegrass musician, who recorded for Starday, Republic and Rounder Records, passed away October 15, 2012. He was 83

Gately was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame Museum in Owensboro, KY, and was recognized as one of the "Pioneers of Bluegrass" by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

He wrote the bluegrass standard "Home is Where the Heart Is"  which was later recorded as the title track of an album by David Grisman and Jerry Garcia and was nominated for a Grammy award.

A former college baseball player, one of his many passions included Little League coaching.  He also enjoyed collecting acoustic guitars, restoring Packards and Mustangs, and watching his grandchildren's ballgames. 

Gately once told IBMA’s Executive Director, Nancy Cardwell,  he wanted o be remembered …"as a songwriter and a person who loved the music, even though I was not a full-time professional musician."


Gately formed The Backwoods Boys with guitarist/singer Babe Lofton (1929-1993) circa 1952, when they  recorded on the Nashville independent label Republic Records.

Gately and Drumwright both served for a short time as members of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys band in the late 1950s, but maintained their membership in Connie & Babe as well, recording extensively for Starday Records in the late 1950s.

Following a long hiatus from recording, Connie & Babe and The Backwoods Boys went back into the studio in 1992. In 1995 Rounder Records issued the group’s comeback CD, Down the Road to Home.

Some of the Gately’s noteworthy performances were “Home Is Where the Heart Is,” “Grave on the Rolling Hillside,” “How Will the Flowers Bloom,” “Lonely Years,” “Roll On Blues,” and “Toil, Tears and Trouble.” -all composed by Gately.

Funeral services were held October 20th. Donations can be made to the Hermitage Church of the Nazarene benevolence fund. Condolences may be offered at www.hermitagefh.com. Hermitage Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens, 535 Shute Lane, Old Hickory, TN 37138. (615) 889-0361.


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