However, the formation of New South marked the true turning point of his career, attracting musicians with extensive sensibilities who regularly passed through the ranks of the band before moving on to other projects. One of the most notable of these was singer Keith Whitley, a late 1970s newcomer who, like Mr. Skaggs, would achieve significant success in mainstream country music.
mr. Crowe began slowing it down professionally in the 1980s, limiting himself to reunion concerts and select recording projects such as the six-album run he did with the Bluegrass Album Band, a bluegrass supergroup he founded with Mr. rice.
mr. Crowe won a Grammy in 1983 for the best instrumental performance in a country for his recording “Fireball.” He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame in 2003. Kentucky Educational Television aired the documentary “A Kentucky Treasure: The James Dee Crowe Story” in 2008.
Mr Crowe is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sheryl Moore Crowe; a son, David; a daughter, Stacey Crowe; and a granddaughter.
The musical catholicity of Mr. Crowe disproves the belief that bluegrass is only about clinging to tradition.
“So many groups are trying to keep the same sound, and that’s all well and good, if you can,” he said in 2012. “But for myself, I mean, how are you going to replace a Tony Rice and a Ricky Skaggs and a Jerry Douglas ?
“You’re not going to do that. If you try to do that, you force someone to do what they can’t do. Although they may try, it won’t work out. So I thought, well, the best thing is to hire people who have good voices, can sing well, can choose well, and let them do their job.”