Herschel has performed and recorded with some of bluegrass music's finest people during his career as a musician. Just to name a few; Jimmy Martin, Del McCoury, Vassar Clements, Bill Monroe, Allen Bibey, Curly Seckler, The Dixie Gentlemen, and The Bluegrass Cardinals. In performing with so many fine musicians through the years, Herschel has honed his considerable talent at song writing.
His finely tuned sense of style has produced incredible songs that are heard at jam sessions, concert performances, festivals and conventions all over the world.
There is a lot to see, hear, and learn about this bluegrass legend. Look around, listen to song samples, and don't forget to visit our merchandise page for your favorite Herschel Sizemore products!
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The music's in his head, drive in his heart, and bluegrass in his soul.
Herschel Sizemore's musical career has been a unique journey. Born on August 6, 1935, in Sheffield, Alabama to Claude & Rebecca Sizemore, Herschel was the youngest of their ten children. His interest in traditional music and bluegrass developed at a young age; first by listening to his mother singing and guitar playing, as well as his father fiddle. Unfortunately, the fiddle was destroyed when Herschel's brothers couldn't find any firewood kindling! His father's work, kept him away from home for long periods of time and Herschel developed a close relationship with his mother. They looked after the home place, and spent much of their time together.
When Herschel was between seven and eight years of age, his older brother Ross was stationed at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, preparing for World War II. A fellow solder and friend of his was to be shipped out to the battlefront, and this friend gave his mandolin to Ross, who mailed it home to Herschel and older brother Hubert.
Herschel began to teach himself by ear, learning from what he had heard on the Grand Old Opry radio shows. Bill Monroe's mandolin playing caught Herschel's ear, and inspired him so much, that he credits Bill for his early interest in developing his talent. Monroe served as his initial inspiration and a trip to visit his sister-in-law at age 8 with his mother Rebecca; he was able to see Bill & the Bluegrass Boys on stage at the Opry. This experience truly sealed the deal. His mother recalls the young boy tugging at her sleeve, and exclaiming, "that's what I want to do when I'm grown".
Herschel and most anyone else in the field of bluegrass is quick to point out that their styles of playing were vastly different. Herschel says, "I liked Bills' playing, but I heard something different in my head." As many great mandolin players today will readily attest: Herschel's style, his close adherence to song melody, and the incredible clarity of his playing are what most consider the first true divergence of styles from the great master Monroe. In the same manner as Monroe, Herschel remained true to his technique and musical style, setting him apart from most players on the mandolin.