Given Name: Ginger Kay Hammond
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar
Date of Birth: September 21, 1944
Place of Birth: Columbus, Mississippi
Home: Birmingham, Alabama

Ginger Boatwright is one of the most influential women in bluegrass and acoustic country music. Ginger Boatwright was a pioneer in (country/bluegrass). Raised in Pickens County, Alabama, Ginger learned bluegrass from her father and put together Red, White & Bluegrass in Birmingham when she was a college student.

Red, White & Blue(grass) was probably the most eclectic bluegrass act of the time and was noted for its fancy production touches, off the wall antics and pop influence. But Ginger's band won a Grammy nomination with its 1972 album, charted in 1973 and won "Most Promising Vocal Group" from Billboard magazine in 1974. At that time one reviewer cautioned, "the acceptance of their album will depend largely on how one feels about the role of the female voice in bluegrass".

Following the breakup of the band in 1979 she formed the all-female bluegrass group the Bushwhackers. The Bushwhackers began playing the college circuit and released their eponymous debut in 1980. In 1981, the group broke up and Boatwright was prepared to quit the music business when Rodney Dillard informed her that his brother Doug was putting together a new band.

She began fronting for the Doug Dillard Band in 1981 and was nominated for another Grammy with the Band's "Heartbreak Hotel" album.

In 1991she recorded "Fertile Ground" as her first solo CD with backing by Doug Dillard and other star pickers. 1994 saw the release of "Sentimental Journey", a CD with Woody Herman and Vassar Clements. She has a new CD out entitled "Sipsey", a swamp located near her Alabama home.

Ginger's come a long way and has established herself as a strong and powerful singer/songwriter.There's no mistaking the rich earthiness of her vocal talent.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Singer and bluegrass performer Ginger Boatwright was born Ginger Kay Hammond in Columbus, MS, on September 21, 1944. As a child, Ginger sang bluegrass tunes with her father, Hap Hammond, and his Magic Circle Ramblers. She grew up studying piano, but switched to guitar while studying history and sociology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. At a 1966 Grant Boatwright concert, the guitarist invited Ginger on-stage to play. That impromptu performance led to a creative partnership, which in turn led to marriage. 

By 1969, a cancer diagnosis had forced Ginger to quit the university. She focused instead on music, and made her duo with husband Grant a trio with the addition of cousin Dale Whitcomb. Christening themselves Red, White & Blue (Grass), the trio released Pickin' Up! in 1974 and a self-titled effort that same year. The group found some success outside of normal bluegrass circles, and even garnered a Grammy nomination for its debut album. Meanwhile, Ginger was also signed to the GRC imprint as a solo act, and had a hit single there in 1972 with "The Lovin's Over." (That year she also purchasedThe Pickin' Parlour, a Nashville club and gathering place for musician types, which she owned until 1981.) While bothGinger and Red, White & Blue (Grass) were signed to Mercury throughout the latter part of the 1970s, neither found very much success with the label. In 1979 Red, White & Blue (Grass) dissolved, and Ginger and Grant Boatwright divorced.

Ginger's next project was the Bushwhackers, an all-female countrified bluegrass band comprised of banjoist Susie Monick, bassist April Barrows, and Ingrid Reese on fiddle and guitar. The Bushwhackers' one album was issued in 1980 on Laser Lady, and they supported the record with a series of successful college tours. After the Bushwhackers broke up in 1981,Ginger joined up with banjoist Doug Dillard's backing band, where she stayed until the mid-'90s, appearing on most of the band's releases for Flying Fish. Her solo career flourished as well; 1991's Fertile Ground featured contributions from Dillard and bluegrass master Sam Bush. Boatwright also released an interesting bluegrass-jazz hybrid LP in 1994 entitled Sentimental Journey. The album featured her old pal Monick on banjo, the fiddle of Vassar Clements, and clarinetist Woody Herman. She returned in 2000 with the traditional bluegrass release Sipsey, and continued to perform sporadically with the Doug Dillard Band. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi


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