Contact Us

Bluegrass Guitarist James Alan Shelton Dead at 53

James Alan Shelton

Grammy-winning bluegrass guitarist James Alan Shelton has died.

Just over a month ago, Shelton was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the liver and pancreas, and he passed away Tuesday (June 3) at the age of 53.

For 20 years, the talented guitarist played guitar and served as a road manager for Dr. Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys band. Born in Kingsport, Tenn. and raised on a tobacco farm close to Gate City, Va., Shelton grew up listening to such artists as Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, Bill Monroe, and Flatt & Scruggs.

When he was 12 years old, the artist began playing guitar and banjo, aspiring to play like the late George Shuffler, who passed away in April. His talents led him to the Clinch Mountain Boys, and he played his first show with them on March 4, 1994 in Northfield, Minn.

The rest, as they say, is history. He released 10 albums under his own name in addition to his notable work on Stanley and Jim Lauderdale’s ‘Lost in the Lonesome Pines,’ which earned Shelton a Grammy in 2003.

His album ‘Half Moon Bay’ was nominated for International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumental Album of the Year in 2005, which was quite the honor and a testament to his influence in bluegrass’s old time mountain style.

Next: See More Country Stars We've Lost in 2014

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Taste of Country

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Taste of Country quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!