Category Archives: Banjo

Tommy Jarrell at Pinewoods Camp

FRC211 and FRC212

By Jerry Epstein

I first went to Pinewoods Camp Folk Music Week in 1965 — a life changing experience in more ways than I can count. It was the first time I had an opportunity to live with source traditional artists, and I had enough sense to realize that there was something special here that would not be found on the coffee house circuit. I met Jean Ritchie in 1965, Louis Killen in 1966, and Norman Kennedy in 1967. Continue reading

An Evening with Lee Roy Stoneking, with a Few Unexpurgated and Incomplete Comments on Field Recording Traditional Artists During the Heyday of the Folk Festival and Fiddlers’ Contest Revival

FRC708

By Howard (Rusty) Marshall

On a chilly, clear evening in November 1975, I had the opportunity to record and photograph the fiddler Lee Roy Stoneking at his home in Clinton, Missouri, a few miles from the farm where he was born. Stoneking had invited his son, Fred, to come play backup guitar, but Fred couldn’t make it. But his daughter, Judy Vanderville, was handy, and the session turned out nicely, with Continue reading

A Visit with Lee Stoneking

FRC708

by Brad Leftwich and Linda Higginbotham July, 2014

From 1982 to 1986 my wife Linda and I performed at the Mountain Folks Music Festival, held for ten days every June at the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri. It was a great experience, and we met and became friends with traditional musicians from all over Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. One of the musicians we got to know was Fred Stoneking, who was Continue reading

Obray Ramsey and Byard Ray

FRC113

By Eugene Chadbourne

Obray Ramsey is the banjo-picking cousin of old-time music instrumentalist Byard Ray, and the two worked regularly as a duo until they were “discovered” playing at an Asheville folk festival during the folk music revival of the ’60s. From that point on, the two men’s musical career took a strangely twisted path. Late-night television mongers who may have made it all the way through the strange psychedelic rock western Zachariah, may wonder who the two old-time musicians are that show up in one of this epic’s many strange musical wonders, and the answer would be Ray and Ramsey. Continue reading

Shelor Family Bristol

The Shelor and Blackard Families

FRC112

Jesse Shelor (born December, 1894) was the youngest boy of the fourteen children of Reverend William Ellis Shelor. Even though all of Jesse’s brothers played fiddle or banjo, it was not their influence, but rather a more startling event that started ten year old Jesse fiddling.
One day Jesse’s father came home, picked up a fiddle, and played “Callahan”. This impressed young Jesse greatly since he had no idea his father played! Continue reading