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John Duffey (March 4, 1934 - December 10, 1996) was a Washington DC-based bluegrass music innovator and musician.

Duffey founded two of the most influential groups in bluegrass, The Country Gentlemen and The Seldom Scene. His tastes and sources were eclectic, often raiding folk song books and Protestant hymnals for material. He embraced the music of Bob Dylan and his style of playing was rock and jazz-inflected.

The son of a singer at the Metropolitan Opera, Duffey possessed a soaring range that shifted almost unnoticeably from tenor to falsetto. The contrast of his voice with the mellow baritone of Country Gentleman guitarist Charlie Waller created a rich blend without precedence in bluegrass.

As a member of the Country Gentlemen, Duffey was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1996.

Photo by Connie Smith


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