The Dixie Gentlemen were a bluegrass group from Alabama who were active during the early-'60s folk revival. Herschel Sizemore (mandolin) and Rual Yarbrough (banjo) first met in 1956 playing in a group called the Alabamians, and joined up with Sizemore's friend, Jake Landers (guitar, lead vocals), in 1957 after Landers was discharged from the service. They first called themselves the Country Gentlemen, but quickly changed it to Dixie when they discovered another group who already had that name. They toured in and near their home state for the next few years, making appearances on local radio and television. They cut their first record, "Pray for Me" b/w "Three Steps," in 1959 for the small Blue Sky label, and soon went on to back fiddler Tommy Jackson on an album for Dot. Under the alias the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys, the Gentlemen recorded two albums for another small label, Time, and wound up scoring a deal with United Artists. Their lone album to find wide release, The Country Style of the Dixie Gentlemen, appeared in 1963 and contained all-original material, mostly written by Landers. The group's last recording session during their initial lifespan took place in 1966, with backing by fiddler Vassar Clements (a sometime cohort) and dobro player Tut Taylor; Yarbrough later released it on his own label. After the group's breakup, Sizemore and Yarbrough both worked as sidemen with artists both prominent and local, and later reunited briefly as the Dixiemen. All three Gentlemen reunited with Clements in 1972 and recorded an album for Old Homestead; they would reconvene again toward the dawn of the '90s for another record on Rutabaga. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi