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Doyle Lawson

Doyle Lawson (left) and his band harmonize during the 2006 NEA National Heritage Fellows concert.
Background information
Born April 20, 1944 (1944-04-20) (age 65)

Sullivan County, Tennessee

Genres Bluegrass, gospel
Occupations Singer
Instruments Mandolin
Years active 1977-present

Doyle Lawson (born April 20, 1944) is an American bluegrass and gospel musician. Doyle is best known as an accomplished mandolin player, vocalist, producer, and leader of the 5-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.



Doyle Lawson was born in Ford Town, Sullivan County, Tennessee, near Kingsport, the son of Leonard and Minnie Lawson. The Lawson family moved to Sneedville, Tennessee in 1954, around the time that Doyle acted upon his love for music.

Doyle grew up listening to the Grand Old Opry on Saturday nights. This is where he became inspired by Bill Monroe, the "founding father" of bluegrass, and his band the Blue Grass Boys. His own instrumental piece, "Rosine," is a tribute to Monroe's birthplace and features, among other things, strains from the singer's 1967 instrumental "Kentucky Mandolin."

Doyle became interested in playing the mandolin around the age of eleven so his father borrowed a mandolin from Willis Byrd, a family friend and fellow musician. Doyle taught himself how to play the mandolin by listening to the radio and records, and watching an occasional TV show. His love for music grew and Doyle decided to learn to play the guitar and banjo as well.

Doyle’s perseverance and hard work style has shown through over forty albums since 1977 and through his band’s schedule, which includes over sixty concerts in one year. His hard work and high expectations for his band seem kind of humorous to some with Doyle’s recollection of one practice when he "instructed each member to go to a separate room in the house and continue singing. If the individual members were no longer in pitch when they rejoined their leader, they'd start over again. ‘Of course, they thought I was crazy,’ he told John Wooley in Tulsa World, ‘but I told 'em that if it'd work for the banjo, it'd work for vocals. What it does is, it gets you to do things without being conscious of it, because we all were being programmed the same way.’" Doyle expects a lot from his band and it shows with numerous awards and nine nominations for this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association Awards.

Every year Doyle hosts the Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Festival in Denton, North Carolina.

He has one son, Robbie,and two daughters Suzi and Kristi. Kristi gave birth to the Lawson’s first grandchild, Spencer, in July 2007.

Doyle rededicated his life to Jesus in May 1985 and is a member of Cold Spring Presbyterian Church.



In 1963, at the age of eighteen, Doyle went to Nashville, Tennessee to play the banjo with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys.

In 1966, Doyle started playing with JD Crowe and the Kentucky Mountain Boys (later the New South), in Lexington, Kentucky.

Doyle went back to play the mandolin and sing tenor with Jimmy Martin in 1969 for six months. After he left Martin’s band he went back to play with Crowe until August 1971.


On September 1, 1971, Doyle started playing with the Country Gentlemen and remained part of the band for almost eight years, when in March 1979 Doyle left the band.

Doyle states that at that time in his career he wanted to make his own sound and that he has done.

In April 1979 Doyle formed his own band and called them Doyle Lawson and Foxfire, which quickly changed to Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.

"No one since the late great Bill Monroe melds bluegrass with gospel music quite like the former Country Gentlemen member Doyle Lawson…" Memphis Commercial Appeal

Original Lineup: Terry Baucom-banjo, vocal Doyle Lawson-mandolin, vocal Jimmy Haley-guitar, vocal Lou Reid-bass, vocal

Current Lineup: Jason Barie-fiddle Joey Cox-banjo Doyle Lawson-mandolin, vocal Darren McGuire-guitar, vocal Josh Swift-dobro, vocal Carl White-bass, vocal


Studio albums

Year Album US Bluegrass Label
1977 Tennessee Dream County
1980 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Sugar Hill
1981 Heavenly Treasures
Quicksilver Rides Again
Rock My Soul
1985 Once and for Always
1986 Beyond the Shadows
1987 The News Is Out
1988 Heaven's Joy Awaits
Hymn Time in the Country
I'll Wander Back Someday
1989 I Heard the Angels Singing
1990 My Heart Is Yours
1992 Pressing on Regardless Brentwood
Treasures Money Can't Buy
1995 Doyle Lawson with Bobby Hicks & Jerry Douglas Koch
Never Walk Away Sugar Hill
1996 There's a Light Guiding Me
1997 Kept & Protected
1998 Gospel Radio Gems
1999 Original Band
Winding Through Life
2000 Just Over in Heaven
2001 Gospel Parade
2002 The Hard Game of Love
2003 Hallelujah in My Heart Music Mill
Thank God Crossroads
2005 You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper 4 Rounder
2006 He Lives in Me 4 Crossroads
2007 More Behind the Picture Than the Wall 2 Rounder
2008 Help Is On the Way 4 Horizon


Compilation albums

Year Album US Bluegrass Label
1990 The Gospel Collection 1 Sugar Hill
1999 A School of Bluegrass 9 Crossroads
2007 Best of the Sugar Hill Years Sugar Hill

References & External Links


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