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Jack Cooke

Jack Cooke

Sittin on top of the World


Jack Cooke was born on December 6, 1936 and died on December 1, 2009. A life-long resident of Norton, Virginia, Jack began his tenure as a Clinch Mountain Boy in 1970 and remained with the band until his death. His 39 year tenure as bass player made him the longest serving Clinch Mountain Boy except for Ralph Stanley. What many fans may not realize is that Jack had two stints as a Clinch Mountain Boy. In 1955 Jack joined forces with Carter and Ralph Stanley as bass player. After that, Jack served as a Bluegrass Boy and Bill Monroe’s lead vocalist for four and a half years (1956-1960). Jack has also played with the Virginia Mountain Boys, Earl Taylor and the Stoneman Family before returning to the Clinch Mountain Boys for good in 1970. As a teenager, Jack told his sister, “I’m never going to work. I’m going to let this guitar do it for me.” In addition to his musical career, Jack served half of a term as mayor of Norton Virginia in 1963. He viewed his appearances at the Grand Old Opry, Ryman Auditorium and his three trips to Japan to be the most interesting places he’s performed during his long and distinguished musical career. In 2007 Pinecastle released Jack Cooke’s only solo album, Sittin’ On Top Of The World, produced by Jim Lauderdale.