Frank Wakefield is famous in many country circles for being the pioneer of the mandolin. In the 1950s, he began playing this instrument with the Gospel-influenced Wakefield Brothers and traditional Americana artists such as Red Allen; and then later on, the Greenbriar Boys. He taught David Grisman how to play mandolin and in 1974, he recorded Pistol Packin' Mama with Don Reno, Jerry Garcia, Dave Nelson and Chubby Wise. Wakefield's mandolin playing is at virtuoso level, but his respect and knowlege of Americana music history prevents him from ever using his talents as an ego plumping device. His playing is both tasteful and extraordinary.