Today, I just thought you folks would like to see an old photo of us from 1979. This picture was so colorful and entertaining, with all the instruments in it, that we used it on the front of a 33 1/3 record album (remember those?) which we recorded that year.
The permanent band members at the time were just Murphy and myself and her sister, Nancy Pate. For the photo we surrounded ourselves with all the bluegrass instruments we had-- and there were a lot of them. The five banjos include Murphy's old Gibson Style 4 which she played for 20 years, and also my then-recently-completed Style 11 conversion which belongs to Casey now. (She was almost two when this picture was taken---imagine that!) The guitars include four Martin D-28s of various ages, and the mandolin-family instruments include Randy Wood F-5 #1, an old 1916 Gibson F-4, and my Gibson H-2 mandola. There are plenty of fiddles of various kinds, too.
Sadly, hard times were about to hit the bluegrass world and the rest of the country too. In the recession of 1979-81, we sold many of these instruments and they went to other homes. But in the meantime, we sure did get a good picture!