Singer-songwriter John Herald, who helped bring bluegrass music to mainstream America, has died at age 65, reports the Daily Freeman newspaper in Kingston, N.Y. The date and cause of death have not been disclosed.
Born John Whittier Sirabian
in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, the singer-guitarist was a founding member of the Greenbriar Boys,
a group that became one of the first professional bluegrass bands to emerge from the North during the folk music boom of the
early '60s. In the band, Herald worked with several notable musicians, including Bob Yellin, Eric Weissberg, Ralph Rinzler
and Frank Wakefield. Herald's original composition, "Stewball," became a standard among folk singers after Peter, Paul and
Mary recorded it.
After the Greenbriar Boys disbanded in 1966, Herald worked on a variety of projects as a solo artist
and with bands. Herald recorded four albums for Rounder Records as a member of the Woodstock Mountain Revue, a collective
that also featured folk singers Artie and Happy Traum, banjo player Bill Keith and two singer-songwriters who later found
success in Nashville -- Pat Alger and Jim Rooney. As a session guitarist, Herald recorded with Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Bette
Midler, Ian and Sylvia and others.