b. 20 December 1935, Boon’s Camp, Kentucky, USA. Necessary was raised in Tomahawk, Kentucky. In 1954 he enlisted in the US Air Force and continued to serve for some 10 years. After leaving the military in the mid-60s, he turned to music for a career, choosing to perform bluegrass. Recording from the start of the 70s, he became very popular with bluegrass audiences. Among the bands Necessary led over the years were the Stone Mountain Boys and the Wheeling Grass. In the early 80s, he recorded with Buzz Busby, Al Jones and Paul Keller. In the mid-00s, he sometimes teamed up with other touring bluegrass veterans, notably Carolina Rose and Jones, at shows in Kentucky and other Midwestern states, and they have also appeared on the Cumberland Highlanders’ television show. Best known of Necessary’s songs, recorded solo and with Jones, is ‘Letters Have No Arms’, which is often reissued on compilations of bluegrass classics. He also recorded ‘The Long Black Veil’, John D. Loudermilk’s ‘Blue Train (Of The Heartbreak Line)’ and, with Keller, ‘Mac’s Jack’ and ‘Lonesome For You’.
Necessary has also turned to writing fiction, his novel, The Lawless Trail West, being a teenage rites of passage tale set during and after the Civil War.