Vern and Ray Download
Aug 9, 1967 (Late)Ash Grove (Los Angeles, CA)
Vern and Ray Download
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Total Length:
26:55
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Vern and Ray Download

$5
$5
Download Concert
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Sample this concert
  1. 1Bugle Call Rag (Incomplete)01:20
  2. 2Poor Ellen Smith03:04
  3. 3Raisin Bran02:49
  4. 4Old Country Church03:09
  5. 5Molly And Tenbrooks02:16
  6. 6Tragic Romance04:17
  7. 7I Thought I Had It Figured Out02:31
  8. 8Can't You Hear Me Callin'03:26
  9. 9Rawhide02:13
  10. 10Nine Pound Hammer (Incomplete)01:50
Artist:
Item Number:
  • 20053540-15646-AD
Date:
  • Aug 9, 1967 (Late)
Venue:
Sample this concert
  1. 1Bugle Call Rag (Incomplete)01:20
  2. 2Poor Ellen Smith03:04
  3. 3Raisin Bran02:49
  4. 4Old Country Church03:09
  5. 5Molly And Tenbrooks02:16
  6. 6Tragic Romance04:17
  7. 7I Thought I Had It Figured Out02:31
  8. 8Can't You Hear Me Callin'03:26
  9. 9Rawhide02:13
  10. 10Nine Pound Hammer (Incomplete)01:50
Total Length:
26:55
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Liner Notes

Vern Williams - vocals, mandolin, guitar; Ray Park - vocals, fiddle; Herb Petersen - vocals, banjo

Recorded at the same show where Hedy West performed, this set was less than 30 minutes long, but still offers a wealth of historic music. Vern Williams and Ray Parks are among a handful of bluegrass pioneers that helped commercialize the rural American art form and incorporate it into the country music platform.

The duo, which lasted over 15 years through the mid-1970s, was based in southern California, after both players had migrated there from Arkansas. Aside from being known as one of the best bluegrass acts in the country, they were a major influence on many of the early Southern California country-rock acts including the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Desert Rose Band, Poco, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, and the Grateful Dead. With their contemporaries the Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, the Louvin Brothers, and the Osbourne Brothers, Vern and Ray were known for their songs about unrequited love, riding the railroads, and life on the farm.

A teenaged Jerry Garcia played banjo with Vern & Ray before forming the Grateful Dead. Another young player that learned volumes from Vern & Ray was banjo player Herb Pedersen. Pedersen toured for several years with the duo before forming the Desert Rose Band with ex-Byrd Chris Hillman, and working alongside the likes of Linda Rondstadt, Emmylou Harris, Dan Fogelberg, and James Taylor. Pedersen is featured on this recording, and appeared on several recordings the band made in the 1960s.

Vern & Ray were best known for their soaring country harmonies (propelled by Williams' distinct tenor vocal). The vocal prowess of the band is best exhibited in "I Thought I Had It Figured Out" and "Can't You Hear Me Calling?" both of which appear in this show recording.

The group was formed in 1958 after Williams was sent to California for a two-year stint in the military. While working in a meat packing plant in Stockton, California he heard a fellow bluegrass enthusiast on the radio named Ray Parks. Park, who played fiddle and sang, quickly put the duo together after the two met. They remained together until 1974, and then reunited for several occasions thereafter until playing their final appearance in 1999. After the duo split in 1974, they both continued to work, with the Vern Williams Band utilizing most of their musicians, performing until his death at age 76 in 2006. Parks had passed away four years earlier.

Although the duo never nailed the country music hit parade, they are classified today as bluegrass legends, and are generally credited with bringing the art form to the West Coast.

Written by Alan Bershaw

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