In 1979, I left Hot Off the Press for six months to tour with actress/singer Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett of TV's "Beverly Hillbillies"). In November of 1980, I became a featured player with Doc Severinsen's touring "Las Vegas" show. Besides Las Vegas, we played Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, the Mardi Gras, state fairs, conventions, TV's "Hee Haw," and one of President Reagan's Inaugural Balls in Washington, D.C. I remained with the show until 1985.
Since working for Doc wasn't a full-time position, I was able to play two summers at Knott's Berry Farm (1982 and 1983) with a band called The Rounders. This band also worked at the 1984 Summer Olympics performing bluegrass in the Los Angeles Coliseum Park and restaurant venues. During these years, I recorded two more banjo albums: "San Andreas Quickstep" (1979) and "Pacific Swing" (1983).
Over the years, I have written over twenty instruction books for banjo and guitar. In 1979, my friend Doug Dillard asked me to write his banjo book. We had a good 'ole time pouring over his recordings and making the transcriptions. Also, I added an instructional section explaining tunings, tablature, rolls, chords, left-hand techniques, and back-up—just like what you would see in a beginner's manual. It came out in 1980, published by ALMO Publications/Columbia Pictures Publications. After several years, it went out of print. Then, in 2001, Centerstream Publishing brought back a slightly abridged version.
During practically this entire time (at least since 1978), I had been teaching banjo and guitar at the Blue Ridge Pickin' Parlor until it closed in 2010. We started in Reseda, CA, moved to Canoga Park for twenty years, and in 2002, we relocated to Granada Hills, CA.
Since 2010, I have been teaching at home, as well as playing in the Tom Corbett Band, the Murphy Family Bluegrass Band, and the Bluegrass Ghosts. Tom and I also play several duo gigs together: Knott's Berry Farm, Cal Vets retirement home, and private parties. I still get the occasional commercial jingle, film score, and TV show, including fun sessions for "Bob's Burgers."
A few years ago, fiddle player Phil Salazar decided to form a new band. He recruited musicians he had worked with in the past, hence the name Phil Salazar and the Kin Folk. I was in his band briefly in the early 1980s. We have recorded two CDs: "Project 1, Part 3" and "All That! For This?"