Don Stover

Don Stover was one of bluegrass’ best loved musicians. Stover was instrumental in spreading bluegrass in the northeast as a member of The Lilly Brothers, the house band at Boston’s Hillbilly Ranch from 1952 until 1970. Except for a short stint when he joined Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, in 1957, Stover performed with The Lilly Brothers at the club six shows a week, fifty weeks a year as well as on a daily radio show broadcast by WCOP. A performance by Stover and The Lilly Brothers on July 4, 1967 was taped and released as “Live At The Hillbilly Ranch” in 1996. Although the group disbanded in 1970, Stover continued to influence a new generation of bluegrass players. In addition to forming a new band, The White Oak Mountain Boys, Stover recorded a solo album, “Things In Life,” featuring mandolinist David Grisman. Originally released in 1972, the album was reissued in 1995. 
Although he initially played banjo in the clawhammer style that he was taught by his mother, Stover altered his approach after hearing a Grand Ole Opry broadcast featuring Earl Scruggs playing in the more melodic, three finger, style with Bill Monroe And The Bluegrass Boys. During the 1940s, Stover balanced a full time job as a coal miner with performances with The Coal River Valley Boys. 
In the mid-1970s, Stover relocated to Maryland. He succumbed to cancer on November 11, 1996 at the age of sixty-eight. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

Don with a unique banjo.

Banjo Summit at Smokey Greene’s Festival Fred Pike’s car
Fred is seated in the car; Don Stover leans against the door; Don Reno squats in front. Possibly Raymond McClain in the hat with his back to us

Don Stover & The White Oak Mountain Boys

Don’s first album, “Things In Life”
West Virginia Coal Miner’s Blues Old Homestead OHS 90011 1973 197303

Bob played with Don Stover’s band for a couple of years beginning in 1972 after leaving Maine. Looking through Don’s discography you would see that Bob recorded with Don on two of his LPs:

Don Stover & the White Oak Mountain Boys on the Rounder label 0039   1974
White Oak Mtn. Boys at Don’s festival in Ohio
Don & Bob with promoter of Don’s festival
Lilly Bros. Tex Logan and Don Stover
Rounder ad for bands on their label

When Don grabbed a chair and sat down, you knew it was time for some “claw hammer” style picking.

White Oak Mtn. Boys on Good Morning America

White Oak Mtn. Boys at Boston College: Herb Hooven on fiddle (back right)

Jack Tottle, Herb Applin, Carl Rebello, and Bob headed for the stage at one of Smokey Greene’s festivals

Bob and Don at the Sticky Wicket Pub in Hopkinton, MA
Sam Tidwell & Don in Canada
Don playing guitar with Peter Rowan at Hillsdae BGF, NY
Don and Peter Rowan at same event as above
Carl, Bob, Don, Jack, Dave, Sam – this photo is on the back of Don’s Rounder 0039 album, Don Stover & White Oak Mtn. Boys
Lilly Bros and Don Stover at Hillbilly Ranch in Boston, MA
Don on the cover of B.U. in March of 1973