Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Roger Daugherty from Seffner, Florida

Music has been a love my entire life. Though I primarily professionally played keyboards, I also have played trumpet, guitar, and bass.

What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin, or banjo?
I remember when I first heard the Darlings (The Dillards) on The Andy Griffith show as a kid and the banjo style of picking was fascinating to me. I thought how great this picker was to play so fast and have that far away look in his eyes like he’s off in another world. Great act. Later Earl Scruggs on the Beverly Hillbillies peaked my interest a lot. Then Roy Clark, Bill Monroe, Steve Martin and Bela Fleck kept my interest through the years. So in 2016, I thought I would try to learn how to play the banjo. I bought my first banjo and started out, like most, learning rolls. The first song I tackled was The Ballad Of Jed Clampett. That took a long time.

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve been playing music since I was 9 years old. I played Keyboards in bands for about 14 years. I wanted a more stable lifestyle, met my future wife in Tampa in 1984. Been happily married ever since. My motivation is to be a good musician so I keep playing.

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite at the moment is the Banjo Fretboard Geography with Alan Munde. It has taught me how to move around the fretboard a lot better. But I have to say that every lesson @BanjoBen teaches has something new for me to learn, like variations on rolls, picking, and scales. TheTab and TablEdit are GREAT tools. And the back tracks are perfect for playing along with to get people used to playing with others. The Forum has a great group of musicians who can answer any question.

What’s your goal when playing?
My goal is to play relaxed, fast and have that far away look in my eye like I’m off fishing somewhere. LOL! My goal is to be able to play with other pickers and stay up to speed.

What’s your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby the past two years has been the banjo, but fishing, electronics, home recordings, and gardening are also on my list.

How long have you been a gold pick member?
June of 2017

What do you do for a living?
I’m retired since 2016 but I was a residential appraiser for Hillsborough County in Tampa for 35 years.


Congrats Rodger nice getting to know you

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Congrats on joining the gpotw community, Roger!

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Roger, that is just the coolest observation for motivation! Sure, that whole “Country Bumpkin” act was amusing in its’ own right… but the Dillard’s playing mastery was so inspiring!

That said, the idea of playing like that - at those speeds - and being on “Auto-pilot” to the extent to LISTEN like that…

I enjoy all the times the “Darlings” played on the show but MY Dillard’s moment was when they played “There is a Time” with the daughter - “Charlene”, I think… singing!

Listen to the end and how they took down the volume but held the swift tempo which cannot be easy - not to mention the singing was hauntingly beautiful.

One final word, on the show, Andy was playing accompaniment and stopped to just listen. Well, maybe it was just acting… but it looked like he was genuinely moved. I think he said, “That is the most beautiful thing I ever heard.” - or something like that… and I agree.

I have thought to ask Ben to help us learn THAT song… but 2 things stopped me: 1) I imagine it is copyrighted and 2) I expect it would definitely be rated as “Difficult“.

Congrats Roger!

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Welcome Roger, it’s good to know you! I have family in Tampa and Sarasota.

Same for me Will. This is actually my all time favorite Bluegrass song… ever! I like both versions (The Dillards and the Darlings sung by Maggie Peterson who played as you said, Charlene. Hers is the best to me. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was ever recorded on any albums with The Dillards. There is however a three song CD that was made, titled “There is a Time, Songs That Make Me Cry” by Maggie Peterson. It contains the original versions of these songs that were on the show. The problem is, none are available. Maybe if we look hard enough, we’ll come across a used one somewhere. If so, I’ll buy two and send you one! Just something about their sound…



Nice to hear your story…Thank you and congrats.

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Greetings Roger from Clearwater. I’m new here too, to the site and to the forum. Man, I really love your goal. I’m stealing it, that’s my goal now.

It’s funny, after I read your comments on the Darlings on the Andy Griffith show, those clips started showing up on my Youtube recommended feed. I’ve never done a search for them… Coincidence? I don’t know.

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Not a coincidence.

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Definitely not. I went with my wife to the college book store the other day. While she was shopping I stood to the side poking around in Facebook. An add scrolled across the screen for an estitition’s book… something I’d never seen on my timeline before. I showed my wife, and she pointed at the counter. It was the exact book she was buying.

Big brother is real.



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I’d like to thank everyone for the kind word and I would like to thank @BanjoBen for the prizes that came in the mail today. :grinning:


It nice to meet you! I bet It’s hard not to enjoy fishing when you live in FL. I love getting down there and doing some fishing anytime I can!