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Roger Williams

2021 RIBA Hall of Fame inductees

After leaving the military in 1960, Roger Williams met Jimmy Morin who played mandolin and dobro. They talked about starting a bluegrass band and met with Roger “Bill” Hall who played five-string banjo. The three decided to form Roger Williams, Bill Hall and the Country Cut-ups. Rounding out the band was J.R. Smith on upright bass and Carl Rebello on fiddle. They gained recognition throughout New England.

David Hunter later joined the group on mandolin, until his aviation career “took off.” Since David married Roger’s younger sister, they still had opportunities to jam at family gatherings. 

Roger met “Curly” King at the Lone Star Ranch in Nashua, New Hampshire when both were performing there. They struck up a friendship and when Carl left the band, Roger asked Curly to be their fiddle player.

When Bill Hall left, Richard Guilbault stepped in on the five-string banjo. Roger had met Richard and his friends Cathi and Glen Brodeur performing as a trio, all very talented and still in their teens! Glen later joined them on bass and Cathi also joined the band, covering some of the popular female vocalist songs of that time. 

Roger’s band continued to play venues throughout New England and opened for Grand Old Opry stars such as Sonny James, Mel Tillis, Hank Snow, Faron Young, Carl Smith, Stonewall Jackson and Red Sovine.

Although his love for bluegrass remained strong, the band slowly transitioned over to Country & Western and became Roger Williams and the Countrymen.