Eanes is an influential background player in the development of Bluegrass and country music. Born in 1923 in Virginia, he came from a musical family and began working professionally as a guitar player in his father's string band before he was in his teens. He played in a succession of Bluegrass bands, performing briefly with Bill Monroe as well as with fiddle player Snuffy Jenkins' Shenandoah Valley Boys. He went out on his own as a leader in the 1950s, moving away from Bluegrass in a more straight country direction. Although Eanes never had any hit records on his own, he has continually toured and recorded, and his material has been covered by tradition-minded country artists such as Ricky Skaggs.