Ray and Melvin Goins

Title

Ray and Melvin Goins

Subject

Musical families
Guitar music (Bluegrass)
Songs.
Sound recordings.
Bands (Music)
Banjo music (Bluegrass)
Bluegrass music.
Bluegrass musicians
Music icons
Musical groups.
Musical performance
Music--Performance.
Music.
Musicians
Music--Social aspects.

Description

Ray and Melvin Goins talk about the people in their family who play music. They talk about the first song they learned to play, "Cripple Creek." They talk about their early interest in music, including the radio show "Farm & Fun Time." Ray and Melvin Goins talk about growing up poor as the sons of a miner, but tell a story about how their father supported their interest in music. They discuss how they made a trade for their first banjo and how their father later traded it away. They talk about working to earn the money for their second banjo and their trip to town to buy it. Melvin talks about his first guitar. Ray and Melvin Goins talk about building a wooden stage on their family's land to practice playing their music, which they performed for their dogs. They talk about riding the bus to their first radio show. Ray talks about his first professional job playing banjo with Ezra Cline. He talks about his wages for that job, as well as what he made for recording sessions.

Ray and Melvin Goins talk about their experience staying at the Drake Hotel during their early days in the music business. They talk about sneaking food to cook in their room to save money and hiding a full pan of cooking food in a bureau. They tell a story about Ralph Stanley sitting on a wad of chewed gum before a show. They tell other humorous stories about performers eating beans instead of playing shows, stealing Slim Jims from a store, rooming in a house with many cats, and arguments between performers.

Ray and Melvin Goins play the first song Ray ever learned on the banjo, "Cripple Creek." Ray talks about coming into possession of the banjo he is currently playing. Melvin talks about some of the guitars he has played over the years and how he came into possession of the guitar he is currently playing. The Goins Brothers also perform "Windy Mountain" "Ain't No Curb Service Anymore" "Dirty Dishes Blues" "My Brown Eyed Darling" and "Pike County Breakdown" and talk about the history of each song.

Ray and Melvin Goins talk more about their careers and state that they have no regrets. They talk more about making friends and playing music with their heroes and pioneers of Bluegrass. They talk about some of the ways they have been honored, including induction into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame. They talk about the popularity of the Bluegrass industry, including the film "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and the younger generation's growing interest in Bluegrass. Ray and Melvin Goins tell stories about Bill Monroe, including the time he was left at a truck stop by his band and a time he fed a stray dog. Melvin Goins talks about the lessons he learned while playing with the Stanley Brothers. He talks about a bass falling off of the top of a car. He tells a story about Ralph Stanley making him tell Carter Stanley he was fired from the band. He talks about some of Carter Stanley's pranks and jokes, including putting laxatives in people's drinks, and re-tuning Shot Jackson's steel guitar. Ray and Melvin Goins talk about recording sessions for various songs. They talk about other musicians' radio shows. They tell a story of their own radio show and holding an audition for a new fiddle player at which "Fiddlin' Dewey" Shepherd and Red Onion tried out. They tell another story about their radio show when they were accidentally on the air during the news program. Ray and Melvin Goins tell more stories about pranks by other performers that they witnessed, including buttering a fiddle bow, and bringing a snake backstage. They talk about Bill Monroe's personality and his feelings about other musicians. They talk about an argument between Ezra Cline and Kentucky Slim which began over a dead squirrel in the road. Ray and Melvin Goins talk about the tradition of having a comedian in Bluegrass bands. They discuss some of the famous Bluegrass comedians, including Lindy "Tennessee Mort" Clear. They talk about Clear's fear of another band member, Chubby Anthony. Melvin Goins talks about his own work as a comedian playing the character "Big Wilbur" for the Stanley Brothers. He tells some of his classic jokes. He talks about accidentally selling James Brown records as Stanley Brothers records. Ray and Melvin Goins talk about some of the pranks Joe Meadows played, including putting smoke bombs under the hoods of cars. Melvin talks about a prank that was played on him making him think his car had leaked a lot of oil. They tell a story about a time their car rolled down a hill with Ray sleeping inside it.

Ray and Melvin Goins describe a banjo contest and some recordings. They talk about their wages in the early days of performing, having to ride with the bass inside the car when it rained, and arguments between performers. Ray and Melvin Goins close the interview by playing the song "Get In Line Brother If You Want To Go Home."

Format

video

Identifier

2017oh188_ibmm012

Interviewee

Ray Goins
Melvin Goins

Interview Keyword

Musical ability in children.
Music--Instruction and study.
Practical jokes.
Radio programs.
Radio stations.
Music festivals.
Bluegrass festivals
Comedians.
Comedy.

Files

goins_Still011.jpg


Citation

“Ray and Melvin Goins,” Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, accessed May 24, 2019, https://nunncenter.net/bluegrass/items/show/8.