Alabama Music Achievers

Alphabetical Achievers Listing


RUAL YARBROUGH - Muscle Shoals, Alabama
-In the mid-1950s he joined the Alabamians. He formed the Dixie Gentlemen in 1956 together with Jake Landers and Herschel Sizemore.
- In the beginning they called themselves the Country Gentlemen but when they found out that another group already had that name, they quickly changed theirs to the Dixie Gentlemen.
- They later recorded with fiddler Tommy Jackson. The group disbanded in 1966 and Yarbrough found work with Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys.
- He continued working with Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys and Bobby Smith and the Boys From Shiloh.
- He met Bill Monroe who offered him a job with the Bluegrass Boys, Yarbrough was hired and made his first recordings with Monroe two days later, on March 26, 1969.
-Between 1969 and 1970 he made 21 recordings with Monroe.
-Yarbrough opened Rual's Music Service in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where he became well known for his ability to repair and build stringed instruments.
- Yarbrough would serve as a session performer for many of the acts who recorded in Muscle Shoals studios during the 1960s and 1970s.
-He also performed as session player in Nashville.
-He was featured on records by the likes of Hank Williams, Jr, Mac Davis, and The Pointer Sisters.
-Rual Yarbrough died on September 21, 2010.

JIM YESTER - Birmingham, Alabama
-Guitar, keyboards, saxophone, and vocals
-Hits included "Along Comes Mary," "Cherish," and "Windy"
-Jim Yester's first major music credit was as a member of the Modern Folk Quartet, a folk-rock outfit founded by his brother Jerry, which made a brief splash in the mid-'60s.
- Yester was later the last original member of the Association to be recruited, and he co-authored several songs, including the single "No Fair at All."
-He received a Grammy nomination for the song "Goodbye, Columbus," and used in the film (and on the soundtrack) of the same name in 1969.
-Yester's most visible moment with the group, however, came on their third single, "Along Comes Mary," on which he sang lead -- it became their first hit and one of the group's two signature tunes

JESS YOUNG - Flat Rock, Alabama
-In his late thirties, he decided to give up mining and make music his career.
-He organized a band with his guitar-playing nephew and a banjo-pickin' neighbor Homer Davenport, who innovated the three-finger picking style.
-Together they made some of the earliest recordings of a working string band.
-He broke new cultural ground for music by bringing the identifiable styling's of Black string band music to new listeners.
-Jess Young's activity as a fiddler and as a performer influenced and inspired other area musicians, including Bob Douglas, the Allen Brothers, and The Gibbs Brothers.
-Some of his original signature tunes are now old time and bluegrass standards: "Sweet Bunch of Daisies," "Maybelle Rag," "Bill Bailey," "Smoke Behind the Clouds," and "Are You From Dixie?"
-Young often won regional fiddle championships, defeating some of the best players in the South -- Gid Tanner, Y.Z. Hamilton, A. A. Gray, and Clayton McMichen-- and set the barre high for semi-professional fiddlers to try to meet.
-Young recorded hot fiddle tunes for both Gennett and Columbia records, and he innovated in music distribution, by making his records for sale at his performances.
-His first record, that included the new tunes, Bill Bailey and Are You From Dixie? sold over 30,000 copies.
-Young interpreted and made 19th century parlor songs accessible to, and meaningful to, country audiences; one example is Irving Berlin's "Ragtime Violin," that Young restyled and reworked as "Fiddle Up."
-In addition to bringing sophisticated tunes to country audiences, Young was an important conduit of the black and white string band music of the area into the world of commercial country music as it was starting to form in the 1920s.
-His musical styles are heard in the work of professional fiddlers, Curly Fox and Bert Layne
-Young was on the verge of getting a contract to play regularly for the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville when his health failed him, and he died on December 31, 1938.

STEVE YOUNG - Gadsden, Alabama
-An American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist, known for his song "Seven Bridges Road"
-He is a pioneer of the country rock, Americana, and alternative country sounds, and also a vital force behind the 'outlaw movement' that gave support to the careers of Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr. and more.
-Young was featured in the 1975 Outlaw Country documentary Heartworn Highways
-In the late 60s he worked with Van Dyke Parks and was member of the psychedelic country band Stone Country.
-He has written many songs, including outlaw classics such as "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" (covered by Waylon Jennings) and "Montgomery In the Rain" (covered by Hank Williams, Jr.)
-His best-known composition is "Seven Bridges Road", which became a major hit for Eagles when they included a cover of it on their live album in 1980. Earlier covers of the song were done by Joan Baez, Tracy Nelson & Mother Earth and Ian Matthews.
-In 1984, Young charted the single "It's Not Supposed to Be That Way" on RCA Records. It peaked at No. 84 on Hot Country Songs.

LINDA ZOGHBY - Mobile, Alabama
-With a career spanning over thirty years as a leading soloist on stages from the Metropolitan Opera, the East Room of the White House, and Carnegie Hall to the main showroom at The Venetian in Las Vegas, has delighted audiences with her expressive lyric soprano voice and moving portrayals.
-She debuted as Mimi in La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera.
- Some of her many engagements include Metropolitan Opera leading roles opposite Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, and the leading soprano for the conducting debut of Placido Domingo at the Met.
-She has also appeared countless times at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as in opera and symphony halls in such cities as Anchorage, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Santa Fe, Houston, Honolulu, San Francisco, London, Lausanne, Caracas, Santiago and Jerusalem.
-She has appeared opposite such renowned singers as Frederica von Stade, James Morris, Placido Domingo, Tatiana Troyanos, and Marilyn Horne, among others, and has sung with such conductors as Edo de Waart, Antal Dorati, Raymond Leppard, James Levine, Naemi Jarvi, Jeffrey Tate, Simon Rattle, Enrique Batiz, Placido Domingo, and Lukas Foss.
- Zoghby has also given command performances for Presidents Carter and Reagan.
-She received a Resident Scholarship for professional training and enhancement from 1974 through 1976 at The Juilliard School's American Opera Center and continued additional long-term study with the Metropolitan Opera Music staff, conductors and coaches.

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