Thomas Bowman made his first wax cylinder recording
of "Turkey in the Straw" for a
neighbor in 1908....at the age of 19! When he and his brothers
played at local dances and events, they had to wrap their instruments
in newspapers for lack of cases!
Banjo player and singer
Poole lived always on the wild side
in his short 39 years. After a significant run of moonshine
liquor during Prohibition, he bought himself what was then
a very expensive Orpheum #3 Special 5 string banjo.
A remarkably tragic life for guitarist/singer
Of his three sons and one daughter, all except the oldest John(JR)
took their own lives, including his wife Opal. The daughter
(Dorothy) was first; then second son, Richard; then Opal; then
youngest son Bill.
Kingsport, Tennesee in the 1920's was
the site of a planned Eastman
Kodak city and became know as the "Magic
City", where fiddler John
City Trio originated.
The local newspapers
and writers cast wonderful fiddler Blind
Bill Day from Kentucky, as "Jilson
Setters, the Singing Fiddler of Lost Hope Hollow."
Mccarroll of the Roane County
Ramblers used "Dill Pickles
Rag" as the basis for his "Everybody
Two-Step"....but there was already a very popular
melody and song by that name first recorded by Billy
Murray and the American Quartet
From Calhoun, Georgia came
and son Jim Baxter who were outstanding African-American
musicians capable of playing in a variety of styles. The
Yellow Hammers in August 1927, got them to
help in a recording session in Charlotte. Andrew and Jim
were forced to ride in a seperate car, and did do some recordings
but the racist industry never credited them. It is commonly
believed in many current circles that the fiddler in the
Yellow Hammers's "G Rag"
is indeed Andrew Baxter.
great North Georgia fiddler Lowe
Stokes during the 1930's was shot at a bootlegging
joint, stabbed near the heart by a jealous boyfriend, and
finally had his hand shot off at a Christmas party, but he
continued to fiddle the remainder of his years. When I saw
him at Brandywine Mountain Music Festival in Delaware, 1982,
he could still play that "Sally
A little known fact is that Vermont fiddlers
are actually direct descendants of the great Southern
fiddlers! I stumbled upon this AMAZING FACT while editing
old photographs! Have a look for yourself HERE!