Rest in Peace

  (Above is a package of his guitar strings)

Official Statement from Tony's Family, December 26, 2020

Sometime during Christmas morning while making his coffee, our dear friend and guitar hero Tony Rice passed from this life and made his swift journey to his heavenly home. It's still quite a shock to the whole family. After talking with Tony's wife Pam and their daughter India, they asked if I would make a statement on their behalf and give them some privacy to process during this difficult time. I was honored to help out. Tony is also survived by his brothers Wyatt and Ronnie, and all of you who loved his music and those who will continue to share it with others.

Tony Rice was the single most influential acoustic guitar player in the last 50 years. Many if not all of the Bluegrass guitar players of today would say that they cut their teeth on Tony Rice's music. He loved hearing the next generation players play his licks. I think that's where he got most of his joy as a player. With many IBMA Awards and a Grammy Award, Tony was a gracious recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Award's highest honor as an inductee into their Hall Of Fame in 2013.

Not only was Tony a brilliant guitar player but he was also one of the most stylistic lead vocalist in Bluegrass music history. When I joined the group The New South in 1974, I knew I'd found a singing soul mate with Tony. Our voices blended like brothers. In 1980 we recorded the album "Skaggs And Rice" for Sugar Hill as a tribute to our duet hero's with just the simplicity of guitar, mandolin, and our voices. All these years later people tell me how much the purity of that record still touches their heart. That's who Tony was, a singer from the heart.

I will miss him as I'm sure all of you will. But where Tony is right now, he's not missing us. He's in the place that God has prepared for those who love Him and receive Him. Rest In Peace dear brother. Thank you for your great talent and the music that will continue to inspire more and more generations to come.         - Ricky Skaggs


Photo credit: Jeremy M. Lange

Help the Family

If you would like to make a donation to Tony's Wife Pam & Daughter India
you can send it in form of a money order to:
Pamela Rice                   
C/O Elizabeth Barrett     
    2101 South Scales Apt. 8A
Reidsville NC, 27320    

Make sure money order is made out to Pamela Rice.
I can guarantee you Pam will get it. Elizabeth is their close friend.
Thanx, Facebook Admin John D. Dill, "Tony Rice Rulz"

Meeting Tony

The first time I met Tony was at the Country Gentlemen Festival in 1972.

I saw him again at Grey Fox 2007   1/27/21

  Rowan & Rice Quartet Interview WDST Sept. 8, 2006

  Banjo Newsletter Tribute

Banjo Newsletter used two of my above photos from the including an insert image of Tony on the cover.

There are stories from J.D., Ben & Chris Eldridge, Bill Emerson, Tony Trischka, Alison Brown,
Béla, Pete Wernick, Terry Baucum, Mike Munford, Jake Schepps, Fred Geiger, & Harry Bickel,
along with 3 tabs arranged by Catherine Bowness.

Stories of Tony's Influence & More

From My Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival Archives
Josh Williams, Chris Eldridge, Danny Knicely

Some History

A Must-Read

I treasure my autographed copy.

Get a copy Here (instead of via Amazon)

A Surprise Connection

Back in the summer of 2020 I created a brief video intended to sooth and distract
from the terrible troubles affecting us all. Now it seems even more appropriate.
The video is of a dam near our home on the Fishkill Creek, which also passes by
the back of our property.                The surprise:
The Fishkill Creek is mentioned in Tony's book "Still Inside"!

My recommendation: Turn up the volume, select fullscreen,
watch, relax, and think of Tony and family

Hall of Fame

Besides his musical artistry, Tony accomplished this stunning effort of
courage and compassion that no one who witnessed it could ever forget.
I'm thankful to have watched it streaming live...

Tony and My Accutron Watch

The Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association had a Tony Rice concert on May 13, 2011.

Before the show I read the interview done by one of our members, and I learned about Tony's other passion, restoring Accutron watches. I remembered I'd had one dis-assembled and inoperative for 30 or 40 years just languishing in a little plastic drawer. I pulled it out the afternoon of the concert and took photos (see below).

During the break between sets at the Tony Rice Unit show, I approached Tony and pulled out the plastic bag with the Accutron watch parts. One of the guys asked what it was. I think it was Wyatt Rice who said, "I know exactly what it is!"

The instant Tony saw it through double thick plastic, on a dark balcony, he identified it as a Model 218!

I asked Tony if he'd fix it up and give it a new home; and all I'd ask is that he email me and tell me when he gets it running. He shook my hand and said, "Well, bless your heart. I'll get it running alright."

A little after 11 PM on May 16, just 3 days after the show, as I was getting ready for bed, the phone rang. There seemed to be a bad connection so I didn't immediatley recognize the voice on the other end. He repeated his name, Tony Rice. I was mad at myself for not realizing it was him!

He had already gotten the watch running, completely polished up, and reassembled.

He explained that the problem was the battery manufacturers currently make batteries with more voltage than in the past, causing too high an amplitude to the tuning fork coils. But interestingly, the adjustment is not electrical, but mechanical. He explained the details, but lost me.

He also said that even with the quartz movements ("and you can have your Patek Philippes") nothing can still compete with the time-keeping accuracy of the Accutron.

Tony explained that he used to be into photography, but stopped when the digital age came in. But he had a pretty good cell phone and he would email me a picture if the reconditioned watch. (See the After shot below.) He thanked me again and reassured me the watch has a good home.

I'll never forget that phone call....Thank you, Tony


To listen to recordings of Tony in my collection,
please select my feature below to look for: tony rice

Photos by Doc Hamilton

In My   Collection

February 11, 2021

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