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About the video
David "Stringbean" Akeman, along with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs performing
"Run Little Rabbit Run"
About the artist
David Akeman, the country musician known as "Stringbean," was a legend at the
Grand Ole Opry and one of the stars of television's "Hee Haw" (1969). Along with
his long-time partner and "Hee Haw" (1969) co-star Grandpa Jones, he was one
of the premier traditional-style banjo players in country music. Though
Stringbean primarily performed as either a sideman or as part of a comedy duet,
he began recording his own records in the 1960s and had achieved superstar
status by the time the decade of the '60s closed.
It was Stringbean's association with country legend Bill Monroe that made his
reputation. Monroe, who fielded his own semi-pro baseball team, discovered
Stringbean on the playing field, and the banjo player became a member of
Monroe's band in 1943. Stringbean stayed with the band for two years as
Monroe's first banjo player, playing in the traditional claw-hammer style, as well
as engaging in two-finger picking. It was with Bill Monroe who he first appeared
on records. In this period, Akeman had additional gigs, teaming up with Willie
Egbert Westbrook as "String Beans and Cousin Wilbur," a comedy duo that
worked on the same bills with Monroe's band. He also played on one recording
session as a Blue Grass Boy, laying down eight tracks in February 1945.