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Bringing Mary Home
Mac Wiseman

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About the video

Mac Wiseman - "Bringing Mary Home".  

About the artists

Famed for his clear and mellow tenor voice, Mac Wiseman recorded with many
great bluegrass bands, including those of Molly O'Day, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill
Monroe, and the Osborne Brothers; his command of traditional material made
him much in demand by bluegrass and folk fans alike. Wiseman was born in
Crimora, Virginia and grew up influenced by traditional and religious music and
such radio stars as Montana Slim Carter. Wiseman started out working as a
radio announcer in Harrisonburg in 1944. At the same time he worked as a
singer with Buddy Starcher. He later formed his own group and continued
performing with others, including Molly O'Day and Flatt & Scruggs, through the
'40s. In 1949, he recorded a single, "Travelin' Down This Lonesome Road," with
Bill Monroe. By the 1950s, Wiseman was again leading his own band.

Possessing one of the best tenor voices in bluegrass, Wiseman differed from
Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs in that he usually sang alone, with little or no
harmonizing. His band also employed two fiddles to play contemporary songs
such as Speedy Drise's "Goin' Like Wildfire" as well as adaptations of standards
such as the Carter Family's "Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home" and Mac
and Bob's "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered." With the Country Boys, a band that
featured such pioneering musicians as Eddie Adcock and Scott Stoneman,
Wiseman recorded many popular local singles, and had his first national Top 10
hit with his version of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." The song's success steered
Wiseman away from bluegrass and more towards pop and country. In 1957,
Wiseman began recording for Dot; he had a few major successes for the label
with such songs as "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy" before moving to Capitol in
1962, where he recorded both country and bluegrass tunes. He began working
for Wheeling's WWVA Jamboree in 1965, and also began to play at bluegrass
festivals; over the next three decades, he became one of the most popular
performers on the circuit.

Wiseman moved to Nashville in 1969 and signed with RCA Victor. His first -- and
only -- hit for the label was the Top 40 novelty tune "If I Had Johnny's Cash and
Charley's Pride." While at RCA, he also recorded three well-received bluegrass
albums with Lester Flatt. From the mid-'70s on, Wiseman concentrated on
bluegrass, becoming a fixture at festivals and releasing a series of records on
independent records that ran into the '90s. In 1992, Wiseman narrated the
documentary High Lonesome, a chronicle of bluegrass music, and in 1993 was
inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. ~ Sandra Brennan & David Vinopal, All
Music Guide