Carl Yaffey was born in 1941 in Norfolk, VA and lived there until 1966 when he graduated from Old Dominion University. He then enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve where he spent 6 months on active duty. Upon completion of his active duty requirement, he moved to Columbus, OH to take a system analyst/programmer job with Bell Laboratories, now Nokia. While in Columbus, he spent another 4 1/2 years attending Coast Guard reserve meetings and attending Ohio State University part-time. Carl earned a Computer Science degree in the engineering department (Cum Laude) in 1977. Carl retired from Lucent in December, 1989 and started his own business in order to do independent database design, retiring again in 1999. Carl also became more active in music at that time. He had been playing banjo, guitar and bass since his Old Dominion days back in Norfolk. Now having more free time, he began to play more often in various bands and to teach. He retired from giving regular lessons at the end of 2012 (but still gives lessons). Carl has played bass with many rock and country bands over the years, and has played clawhammer and 3-finger banjo in various old-timey and bluegrass bands such as The Turkey's in the Straw, One Riot One Ranger, and Grassahol. He currently plays banjo with “The Walhalla Ramblers”, ”The Timbre Wolves", and ”The Folk Ramblers". He plays bass with "BluesSwing". Carl is the author of six Mel Bay books ("A Banjo Player's Guide to Jamming", "A Flatpicker's Guide to Jamming","A Bass Player's Guide to Jamming","A Fiddle Player's Guide to Jamming" (coauthored with John Sherman), "A Mandolin Player's Guide to Jamming", and "A Dobro Player's Guide to Jamming" (coauthored with Mark Panfil). Carl's other interests and hobbies include Amateur Radio (K8NU), reading, taking walks, and Silver Sneakers. Carl is married to the prutyful Debbie Shaw and lives with her by the wonderful Walhalla ravine in Columbus.

To contact Carl: 

Phone: six-one-four 268 6353




Listen to Bill Bay mention my books at the 29 minute point.


 Now, a few words about banjo jokes. What's the difference between black, lawyer, Polish, Catholic, Jewish, banjo, bass player, etc. jokes? Answer: IMHO, NOTHING! They all put down something or someone or some group in order to make the joke teller feel powerful, right, or superior.