I started playing guitar in 1958. Later, I decided that I was going to be the Kingston Trio, and formed a 4-person group (counting never having been my strong suit) with some high school buddies. I decided that the banjo playing of Dave GUARD (of the K3) sounded really cool, so I asked for--and received--a 5-string banjo for Christmas in 1961.
Caught up in what the late Dave Van Ronk called the "Great Folk Scare," there came a night when I heard the Greenbriar boys playing at the 2nd Fret coffee house in Philadelphia, and I vowed then and there to learn to play bluegrass. I then started playing the local coffee house circuit, both with my own group, the Swannanoa Grovemont Roadrunners, and with various pickup bands. In 1964, I began teaching guitar and banjo a couple of nights a week at the Haddonfield (NJ) Conservatory of Music, and soon filled my schedule, teaching every night and all day Saturday.
After teaching there for seven years I had finally gotten myself through undergraduate school, so I set off to grad school and my first love: entomology. After having made my living with an instrument for what seemed then to have been forever, I slid the cases under the bed, and was musically inactive from 1971-1976, while in pursuit of my Ph.D.