The Dixie Bluegrass Boys trace their band’s origins to 1960, when 17-year-old Curtis Blackwell and two other young men in Toccoa, Georgia, won a radio talent contest. Brothers Curtis and Haskell Blackwell and their friend Junior Crowe (who would grow up to be the father of bluegrass’ famous Crowe Brothers) were awarded the top prize, a chance to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Four others were quickly added to the band, including bass player Sam Cobb, who is still with the Dixie Bluegrass Boys.
For the next ten years, the band toured the Eastern United States, playing at many festivals and bluegrass venues. 1970 was a big year for the Curtis Blackwell and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, the year they won the band contest at the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention and recorded an album on the County label. The band members then went their separate ways for several years, going on the road variously with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, for whom Curtis sang lead, Jim and Jesse, and the Boys from Indiana.
After reorganizing, with new artists on some instruments, Curtis Blackwell and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys resumed touring and recording, and were regulars on the bluegrass circuit throughout the 1980s and ’90s.
Almost fifty years later, and now with a home base in Macon County, North Carolina, the Dixie Bluegrass Boys consist of founding members Curtis Blackwell and Sam Cobb, joined by banjo player Charles Wood, fiddler Chuck Nations, and mandolinist Vic Blackwell. Otto, North Carolina, resident Curtis Blackwell is honored in the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.