Tribute Planned for Hee Haw Banjo Ace Bobby Thompson

Banjo masters Allen Shelton and Bela Fleck will pay tribute to another legend of the five-string — Bobby Thompson — during a Feb. 5 concert near Nashville. Thompson, known for his blistering chromatic banjo style, is a former member of Jim & Jesse’s Virginia Boys. He also performed extensively on the Hee Haw TV show. As a banjo player and guitarist, Thompson was one of Nashville’s most prominent session musicians, recording with Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Tammy Wynette, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, the Monkees, Olivia Newton-John, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Young and others. He was forced to retire in 1987 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Thompson will be honored during the 11th annual McReynolds Memorial Concert at the Gallatin Civic Center in Gallatin, Tenn. Hosted by Jesse McReynolds, the charity event will include appearances by Jett Williams, the Osborne Brothers, the Larry Stephenson Band, Leroy Troy and Hee Haw veterans Roni Stoneman, LuLu Roman, Mike Snider and the Hagers.