Month: February 2015

Ed Haley Biography

Ed Haley was a musician born in Logan County, West Virginia in 1885. At three years old, Ed lost his eyesight after contracting measles. As a boy, his uncle gave him a fiddle, and within a few years he was playing with many different local musicians. Haley would go on to become known as one […]

The Carolina Tar Heels

The Carolina Tar Heels was an American old time string band featuring a rotating group of four musicians from the mountains of North Carolina. The group first began to form in 1927 when Dock Walsh (banjo and lead vocals) and Gwen Foster (guitar, harmonica, vocals) traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to record songs for RCA Victor. … Continue reading The Carolina Tar Heels

Who is Beull Kazee?

     In the 1920s, folk music had made its introduction and was on the rise in the Appalachian region of the United States. Buell Kazee, being born in Burton Fork, Kentucky in 1900 was bound to become apart of this scene as a…

Samantha Bumgarner

Samantha Biddix was born in Jackson County, North Carolina in 1878 and grew up in the hills southeast of Asheville. Her father, Has Biddix, was a well-known local fiddler who was at first unsupportive of her interest in music, and then later grew to encourage her talents on both the fiddle and banjo. The first banjo she … Continue reading Samantha Bumgarner

Old Time & Folk Musician: Clarence Ashley

Clarence “Tom” Ashley was born on Sept. 29, 1895  in Bristol, Tennessee. The Ashley family were Irish Immigrants, who had settled in Eastern Virginia and had a passion for the ballads and folk songs that blended the tunes of their ancestral home with the rhythm of American folk music. Clarence’s mother Rose-Belle Ashley, was known … Continue reading Old Time & Folk Musician: Clarence Ashley

The Carter Family

The original Carter Family began with family patriarch Alvin P. (A.P.) Carter, his wife Sara and their sister-in-law, Maybelle.  A.P. was born on December 15, 1891 in Poor Valley, Virginia.  He grew up playing the fiddle and learning songs from his mother.  A.P. married his wife, Sara, on June 18, 1915.  Sara was born on […]

Bristol Sessions Performers

In September, I was given the opportunity to visit, “The Birthplace of Country Music” in Bristol Tennessee. I was able to learn about “The first family” the Carter’s and many others. A.P. Carter, his wife- Sara, and sister-in-law Maybelle, were a few of the first performers to make the Bristol Sessions successful and well-known.  They … Continue reading Bristol Sessions Performers

Tommy Jarrell: The North Carolina Fiddle King

To begin my research on Tommy Jarrell I thought it would be appropriate to see his most popular song on iTunes. I was shocked to find that his most sold song is “Cotton Eyed Joe,” however his version has much more instrumental works along with expanded lyrics from what is heard today. Lucky for me, … Continue reading Tommy Jarrell: The North Carolina Fiddle King

Emmett Lundy Bio

At a glance: Born 1864 in Grayson Co., VA Learned to play the fiddle as a teenager Played at social gatherings, jammed with other musicians in the area, and performed at a 1920s Galax fiddlers’ convention Only commercial recordings are two duets with Ernest Stoneman Recorded in 1941 by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax for the Library … Continue reading Emmett Lundy Bio

Looking Back Briefly at Benton Flippen

Benton Flippen made a career out of fiddling for many prominent old time bands in America. Benton, born and raised in North Carolina, gained his art by learning from close family relatives. He played the fiddle different from anyone during … Continue reading