Walter Forbes


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After the Marines I came back home to Lookout Mountain and collage at the University of Chattanooga. During that year Norman Blake, Bob Johnson, and David (Fingers) Johnston and I started playing together as “The Lonesome Travelers”. The next year I transferred to the University of Georgia, but we would get together for all day jams whenever we could. I was courting a young lady in Nashville at the time who had a friend whose father was Beasley Smith, a song writer, (Lucky Old Sun, Old Master Painter, and Night Train to Memphis) band leader, and music business executive. One thing led to another and Beasley helped me get a recording contract with RCA Victor. Chet Atkins auditioned me and I made two albums for RCA, Ballads and Bluegrass and Folksong Festival, both available now on CD on this web-site. Beasley also got a slot for me on the Grand Ol’ Opry. Norman, Bob and I played the Opry as Walter Forbes and the Lonesome Travelers for eight years as a group, and I played it for another five years as a single act. We were the hot pickers in Nashville for about fifteen minutes and it was fun!!