New Coon Creek Girls Biography

Formed by John Lair in 1979, the New Coon Creek Girls carried on the bluegrass tradition established by Lair's original Coon Creek Girls in the 1930s. Just as he had with the first group, Lair promoted the New Coon Creek Girls through his radio show and concert hall, the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Guitarist and banjoist Vicki Simmons was one of the first performers to sign on to the group. Besides her musical talent, Simmons also had a connection to the original Coon Creek Girl, Lilly Mae Ledford, who had taught her the clawhammer banjo style. While the NCCG lineup would fluctuate over the years, Simmons was always a constant. The band remained on Lair's show until 1983, at which point they struck out on their own. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, the Girls were a popular attraction on the bluegrass and folk festival circuit. By 1991, the lineup included Simmons, banjoist Ramona Church Taylor, vocalist and guitarist Dale Ann Bradley, and Pam Perry on vocals and mandolin. This lineup released 1994's The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore as well as Ain't Love a Good thing a year later. The mandolin of Deanie Richardson replaced Perry's for 1996's Everything You Do, but Perry and Richardson both appeared on Our Point of View two years later. By this point, Bradley and Simmons were playing in another combo, simply called Coon Creek. Teenage fiddling sensation Kati Penn also contributed to latter-day NCCG recordings. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi


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