David Grover’s decades-long career was full of crescendos that most musicians can only dream of. The Lee guitarist-singer-songwriter was a member of legendary rock group Shenandoah alongside fellow Berkshire musical icon Arlo Guthrie. He performed on the “Today Show,” at the United Nations and several times at the White House. He hosted an award-winning music education show on PBS.
UPDATE: Iconic Berkshire-based guitarist David Grover died Wednesday evening from complications following a car accident in upstate New York.
But the times Mr. Grover smiled the widest were not when he was on TV or a sold-out venue stage or the guest list of a bigwig event. It was when he would step back from the mic during a small outdoor concert and play backup for his most cherished audience: children.
Mr. Grover died Wednesday. He was 69. As a musician, he could play with the best. Yet while many can play, Mr. Grover had a particularly special talent stashed in his guitar case.
His ability and untiring willingness to share the precious and ephemeral resource of musical joy to inspire the littlest listeners was unparalleled, which was apparent to anyone who saw his Saturday morning performances at the Town Hall Gazebo in Great Barrington. There’s no way to tell exactly how many kids discovered a passion for performing, grew a love of music and literally found their own voice after Mr. Grover welcomed them to the microphone to sing and play along — but it was definitely a lot.
Photos: A look back at David Grover's musical career in the Berkshires
Berkshires troubadour David Grover has died at the age of 69.
Among the highlights of a career that spanned decades, the guitarist, songwriter and Pittsfield native performed at the White House, NBC-TV's "Today Show," and the United Nations. Grover played in several rock bands, including the legendary Shenandoah, which was led by Arlo Guthrie.
In the Berkshires, Grover is perhaps best known for his many children's concerts, filling countless summer concert series and winter weekends with the sounds of his favorite children's songs, including "This Land is Your Land," "The Wheels on the Bus," and "The Fireman is our Friend."
Here is a look at some of the memories our community shares with David Grover.
Beyond concerts specifically tailored to kids, he was a go-to performer for myriad community events across the Berkshires. Flipping through the memories of Eagle file photos, one finds Mr. Grover performing at block parties in Cheshire, health fairs in Sheffield, carnivals in Great Barrington and youth art centers in Pittsfield.
He was, in nearly every sense, a community rock star. Despite a long and celebrated musical career filled with laurels on which others might rest, he frequently could be found at small local events with a fretboard under his fingers and a song ever in his heart, whether he was playing “This Land is Your Land” or leading kids on a sing-along of “The Wheels on the Bus.”
If the measure of an artist is how many lives you touch with your craft, then David Grover was at the top of the bill, even as he was taken from us tragically too soon.
With condolences to his family, we mourn this painful loss alongside the greater Berkshire community. While it is sad that we will never hear him sing again, his song lives on in the hearts and voices of the countless children he inspired through his deeply generous artistry.