Artists Benny Martin and Harley “Red” Allen will be posthumously inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Assn.’s Hall of Honor Oct. 27 in Nashville during the International Bluegrass Music Awards.
Fiddle player, vocalist and songwriter Martin had a career that spanned more than five decades. In that time, he recorded for more than a dozen labels, including Mercury, MGM, Decca, RCA, Starday, Monument and Columbia. He traveled with Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys and then worked for Flatt & Scruggs from 1952-1954, appearing on 16 Columbia singles. After joining the Johnnie & Jack/Kitty Wells Show in 1954, Martin recorded a number of country songs for Mercury. Beginning in 1955, he traveled with his own band, Big Tige & the Little Tigers. He was a Grand Ole Opry member for a few years in the late 1950s.
In 1997 Martin was honored with a distinguished achievement award from the IBMA. He died in 2001.
After first recording for the Kentucky Records label, guitarist/vocalist Allen teamed with Bobby and Sonny Osborne in 1956 to form the trio know as the Osborne Brothers and Red Allen. They recorded for MGM. He embarked on a new career as a frontman in 1958 as Red Allen & the Kentuckians.
In his career, Allen recorded for more than a dozen labels including Starday, Folkways, County, King Bluegrass and Red Clay Records, including some recording he made with his four sons. He died in 1993.
The Hall of Honor is housed at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky.