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Country Music Pioneer Wade Mainer Dies At 104

DETROIT (AP) - A country music pioneer who got his start in North Carolina's mountains and rediscovered music amid Michigan's industry has died at 104.

Banjoist Wade Mainer died Monday at his home in Genesee County's Flint Township, about 60 miles northwest of Detroit.

Mainer is credited with inventing the two-finger banjo picking style that paved the way for the Bluegrass era. Mainer recorded for several labels and toured throughout the South in the 1930s. In the 1950s he moved to the Flint area where he put the banjo under his bed. He worked for General Motors in the area for 18 years.

Mainer returned to music after another musician convinced the born-again Christian he could use his talents to honor God.

A funeral service is set for Friday in Michigan.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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