Patuxent CD-036 Joe Meadows - Mountains, Rivers & Meadows
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Ralph Joe Meadows was born on the last day of 1934 in the small coal town of Basin in southern West Virginia. As a child growing up listening to WSM's Grand Ole Opry and WCYB's “Farm and Fun Time” radio programs, Joe's ear became attuned to the sounds of the fiddlers who performed with Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, and others. At the age of sixteen, Joe began performing with Melvin and Ray, the Goins Brothers, around Bluefield, West Virginia, where he worked until the fall of 1952, when he joined the Stanley Brothers. He stayed until the spring of 1955 and recorded some thirty songs with Carter and Ralph, including “Orange Blossom Special.” After leaving the Stanley Brothers, Joe performed briefly with the Lilly Brothers, and then joined Jim and Jesse at the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree, moving with them to Live Oak, Florida.
After leaving the Stanley Brothers, Joe performed briefly with the Lilly Brothers, and then joined Jim and Jesse at the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree, moving with them to Live Oak, Florida. Then in 1956 Bill Monroe asked Joe to become a Blue Grass Boy; “of course that just thrilled me to death,” Joe remembers. He toured with Bill Monroe for about a year until returning home to West Virginia in 1957. Joe continued to perform closer to home first with Bill and Mary Reed, and then with Buddy Starcher.
In 1974 Joe began touring and recording with the Goins Brothers. It wasn't long before Jim and Jesse hired Joe for a second stint, this one lasting from 1974 to1980. After 1983, Joe lived in the Washington, DC area, where he continued to perform until his passing in 2003.