From the recording Songs From Burke County

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The Boy From Valdese
(Milan Miller)

George Shuffler was born on April 11, 1925 in Valdese, NC. Raised in a musical family, by the age of ten he was learning guitar chords while absorbing different styles of music from church singing and the radio.

After a brief engagement with the Carolina Boys when he was sixteen, George spent the next few years working with acts that included the Melody Mountain Boys, the Bailey Brothers, Mustard and Gravy, and Jim and Jesse McReynolds. But it was his association with the Stanley Brothers that began in the early 1950’s that put George on the pathway to becoming a bluegrass legend. Over the next two decades he served several stints with the Stanley Brothers and recorded over two hundred songs with the band. It was during this time that he introduced his “walking” style of playing the bass, and even more significant, his cross-picking style of guitar playing.

Classic examples of Shuffler’s cross-picking approach can be heard on recordings of Don’t Cheat In Our Hometown and Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. Not only did he help introduce the acoustic guitar as a lead instrument in bluegrass, his signature approach continues to influence each new generation of players.

George Shuffler received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 1996, and a North Carolina Heritage Award in 2007. He was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame in 2011, the highest honor available for a bluegrass musician.