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Wade Mainer
Birth: Apr. 21, 1907
Buncombe County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Sep. 12, 2011
Genesee County
Michigan, USA

Musician. Called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass", he was one of the first performers to take 'mountain music' to the radio and to concert halls. Raised in western North Carolina he learned the banjo from an early age, began playing at local events, and soon joined his brother's group, 'J.E. Miner and the Mountaineers'. He was to make a name playing on WSOC, Gastonia, then with time moved on to the much larger WBT, Charlotte; Mainer's first records were cut in 1934 for RCA's Bluebird label but he was to leave music for the more steady paycheck of a cotton mill. Soon drawn back he formed his own 'Sons of the Mountaineers', had a major hit with 1939's "Sparkling Eye Blues", and was even invited to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, though contract problems prevented his appearance. Continuing to record, Mainer had success with the album "Smokey Mountain Ballads" which contained "John Henry", "Down in the Willow Garden", and similar songs, but was forced to cut back on travel by the gasoline rationing of World War II. In 1942 he was to perform for President Roosevelt at the White House then after the conflict resumed touring. In 1953 he moved to Flint, Michigan, and began a 20 year career with General Motors, around the same time experiencing a religious converson that caused him to quit the music business until his re-emergence as a Christian singer in the 1960s. Mainer made his last disc, "Carolina Mule", in 1993, continued singing well into old age, and in 2002 finally got his debut at the Grand Ole Opry. Designated a National Heritage Fellow by President Reagan in 1987, he received a Michigan Heritage Award in 1996 and in 1998 was named to the Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame. At his death from congestive heart failure much of his recorded legacy remained in print. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
Family links: 
  William Joseph Mainer (1850 - 1947)
  Mary R. Arrowood Mainer (1870 - 1944)
  Julia Mae Brown Mainer (1919 - 2015)*
  Eva Mainer Coates (1890 - 1970)*
  Essie Roxie Lee Mainer Banks (1893 - 1970)*
  Joseph Emmett Mainer (1898 - 1971)*
  Gertrude Bessie Mainer Fisher (1903 - 1943)*
  Wade Mainer (1907 - 2011)
*Calculated relationship
Crestwood Memorial Gardens
Grand Blanc
Genesee County
Michigan, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 42.9422, -83.67278
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Sep 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76530008
Wade Mainer
Added by: Bob Hufford
Wade Mainer
Added by: Bob Hufford
Wade Mainer
Added by: Daniel Bowns
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- Janis•E
 Added: Sep. 7, 2017
Sit down,sit down.Well I can't sit down. I just got to Heaven and I've got to walk around. Thank you Wade Mainer for the songs and music.
- Charli
 Added: Jul. 28, 2017

 Added: Apr. 21, 2017
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Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 28 votes)

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