One of the top mandolin players in bluegrass music since the early days of his career in the 1960s, Doyle Lawson incorporated traditional gospel quartet singing into his music after forming his own band, Quicksilver, and honed his unique bluegrass-gospel sound to a remarkable intensity. Lawson was born in unincorporated Ford Town, TN, near Kingsport. Several members of his family sang in local gospel quartets, but the Lawsons also listened to The Grand Ole Opry on the radio during the years when Bill Monroe was creating the music that took the name of bluegrass. Monroe inspired young Lawson to take up music and to learn the mandolin. He borrowed his first one at age 11 from a member of his father's gospel quartet and eventually taught himself the five-string banjo and guitar as well. In 1963, Lawson began playing banjo with Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys. He moved to Kentucky and played with various groups before joining J.D. Crowe & the Kentucky Mountain Boys in 1966, first on guitar and then on mandolin. Lawson made his recording debut with Red Allen on the album Bluegrass Holiday and temporarily returned to Martin's band in 1969 but otherwise stayed with Crowe until 1971 and recorded two albums with him.