Russ Hooper has been playing the resonator guitar for 61 years. He was born in Washington, DC, and moved to Baltimore, MD, at age 15.
Russ’s first instrument was a six string single neck lap steel that his father bought him for Christmas in 1948. He got his first Dobro at age 15. Russ was influenced by Speedy Krise, Bill Carver, Shot Jackson and Buck Graves. In the course of his career, he played with Bob Baker and The Pike County Boys (1955-1960), Marvin Howell and The Franklin County Boys (1960-1969) and Walt Hensley and The Dukes of Bluegrass (1969-1974). In the early 1970s, Hooper also worked with Leon Morris and Delmar Delaney. In 1974 Hooper decided to take a break from traveling and did session work only.
In 1963 Russ was approached by Flatt & Scruggs to take Buck Graves’ place when he left, and in 1969 Hooper was offered a job with The Country Gentlemen but opted to keep his day job and continue playing locally. In 1984 Hooper returned to playing with Walt Hensley on a fill-in basis. Hooper currently plays with Bluestone, based in York, PA.