Ola Belle Reed

Ola Belle Reed (FRC203)

by Thomas Polis (For further information go to www.olabellereed.com)

Ola Belle Reed was born Ola Wave Campbell on August 17, 1916, in Lansing, North Carolina.  She was one of thirteen children born to Arthur Harrison Campbell and Ella May Osborne Campbell.  The Campbell family ancestors had moved to the New River Valley of western North Carolina sometime around the 1760’s.  Arthur Harrison was an educated man who spent his life as a Continue reading

Clyde Davenport

Clyde Davenport, Vol. 1 (FRC103),  Clyde Davenport, Vol. 2 (FRC104),
Clyde Davenport DVD (FRC1004)

by Jeff Titon

Kentuckian Clyde Davenport is a master old-time fiddler and banjo player. His large repertory of traditional tunes, many of them rare, makes him an important source musician. At 85, he still plays wonderfully well. For almost twenty years old-time fiddlers and banjo players have made pilgrimages to his home in Monticello, Kentucky, to share in his music. Clyde is amused and Continue reading

Manco Sneed

Byard Ray, Manco Sneed & Mike Rogers (FRC505)

by Dakota Brewer, the daughter of Manco, for the occasion of the John H. and Sarah Lovin descendants’ reunion on February 17, 2007 at Tsali Manor, Cherokee, NC.

Manco Sneed was born in Graham County Feb.18-1885, the son of John Harrison and Sarah Lovin Sneed, but later moved to Cherokee and lived in the “Sneed Gap” section all of his life where he and my mother Rosebud Beck Sneed raised their family of seven children. He died at age 89. Continue reading

Manco Sneed and the Indians

Byard Ray, Manco Sneed & Mike Rogers (FRC505)

by Blanton Owen

This paper, slightly revised, was originally presented as part of a panel at the American Folklore Society meeting in Los Angeles on 26 October 1979.

It is tempting to take the easy route when studying a region’s folk life by dealing with “items” as if they exist and have existed without much tampering with by human beings. It is easy simply Continue reading

Corbett Stamper

Interviewed 29th September 1982 by Frank Weston

FRC306

I was born James Corbett Stamper in Grayson County, Virginia, in the 9th district 13th December in 1910. My father was Matt Stamper, he played fiddle and picked banjo just about all his life. And my uncle, his eldest brother played fiddle. My father’s father also named Matt he’s buried down here in this cemetery was a fife player in the civil war and he also played organ and piano. Continue reading

Dock Boggs

Dock Boggs FRC305 and FRC312

by Reed Martin

My sister lived in Whitesburg, Kentucky, during the mid 1960s and thereafter. In 1967 I went to live with her for the summer. I had been living in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. I was used to playing at noisy dances and had taken to the habit of winding all four strings in the peg head – the same direction. If I was part of a band and the noise was great, if my third string was Continue reading

Simon St. Pierre

Simon St. Pierre (FRC206)

by Joe Wilson

Simon St. Pierre is a fascinating and elusive figure in Maine fiddling, more heard about than actually heard, a north woods lumberjack skilled in an array of music learned in logging bunkhouses. He came to the French festival in the company of Fred Pike, a stunning guitarist from Maine, and a force of nature almost as elusive as his fiddling partner. They made a huge Continue reading

Kilby Snow and His Influential Music Style

Kilby Snow (FRC205)

by Joe Riggs

Much has been written about the life and music of Kilby Snow, an autoharp player of the old tradition of playing below the chord bars. Most folks who know his music and style think first of his famous “drag notes,” a technique he developed to simulate a guitar slide or run on the autoharp, caused when he drags the pick upward from lower strings to higher strings. The first Continue reading

The Kimble & Wagoner Families

The Kimble and Wagoner Families (FRC106)

by Ray Alden

Many years ago, while at a conference on Old Time Music at Brown University, I heard Alan Jabbour describe the music deriving not from a single pure source but behaving more like river in which many currents mingle and churn together to produce a song or a tune. So too, when I look at the Kimble family tree, I see a meandering stream of personalities and musical abilities flowing into the blood of Taylor Kimble and his children. Continue reading

Dennis McGee and Sady Courville

Dennis McGee and Sady Courville (FRC308)

by Jack Bond, Jean Stewart, Barry Ancelet &Tracy Schwarz

The tunes on this CD from the Field Recorders Collective were recorded in 1972 for release of an LP on Morning Star Records (LP #16001). That LP was released in 1972. Only twelve of the twenty-eight tunes played for the recording session were released on that album. The additional tunes, which have never before been released, are also included on this Field Recorders Collective CD. Continue reading

The Dixie Hummingbirds

The Dixie Hummingbirds (FRC208)

by Jerry Zolten
Author, Great God A’Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music.
Oxford University Press

No group is more revered in the history of black gospel than the Dixie Hummingbirds. With a career spanning 75 years, the Birds truly embody the changes that defined the genre as it evolved across the decades of the 20th Century. From a cappella spirituals to guitar-driven gospel to mainstream pop – the Dixie Hummingbirds have always operated at the leading edge Continue reading

Dewey Balfa

Dewey Balfa (FRC207) and Balfa Brothers & Nathan Abshire (FRC111)

Dewey Balfa was born in Mamou, Louisiana on March 20, 1927. Balfa was one of nine children in a family of sharecroppers such; when not picking cotton, he learned to play the fiddle from his father, and taking early inspiration from the music of Leo Soileau, Harry Choates and Bob Wills. Playing fiddle and singing with the Balfa Brothers (which included Dewey, Rodney, Continue reading

Ashby Family History

John Ashby and the Free State Ramblers (FRC108)

By Ms. Nancy M. Sessions

Here is my personal Family History, and memories that have been told to me, by my Mother, Mrs. Agnes Adelia Ashby Sessions, as well as her Sister, my Aunt, Mrs. Marie Elizabeth Scott Ashby Small, as well! I have a good, and a long memory! I am only very happy that it serves a wonderful purpose; to give out history about my Dear Uncle John C. Ashby! Continue reading

The Ashby Family and Friends of Fauquier County Virginia

John Ashby John Ashby and the Free State Ramblers (FRC108)

By Sandy Hofferth (original article appeared in the Old Time Herald)

Skip Ashby, a winner at the 2005 Appalachian String Band Music Festival at Clifftop, WV, is the latest in a long line of fiddlers going back several generations and a link in a chain of musicians in the Warrenton area of Fauquier County, VA, that goes back a century and a half. The Free State Ramblers, one of the longest running bands ever, started in the 1930s and are still active Continue reading

Esker Hutchins plays Cumberland Gap (Listed as “Unknown Tune #2”)

Esker Hutchins (FRC107)

by Jody Stecher (Fiddler Magazine)

Esker Hutchins.  What a great name; sounds like someone taking a bite out of a fiddle.  His music did have a lot of bite and crunch actually, and when he had a good band behind him,  Esker Hutchins of Surry County, North Carolina played some of the most exciting music I’ve ever heard.  Playing solo he was more relaxed but still he had that powerful and incisive bowing arm. Continue reading

Rambling Reminisces of How I Came to Play Old-Time Music

Chirps Smith (FRC608)

By Lynn “Chirps” Smith – November 15, 1995

I was born October 11, 1952 in Pekin, IL. I am the fifth generation of my family in Illinois. My great-great grandfather Mervill A. Smith moved to southern Illinois, from New York state, in the late 1830’s and settled around Mt. Vernon in Jefferson County. When I was very young our family moved to Granite City, near St. Louis, MO. I lived there until 1963 when we moved to Continue reading

The Complete History of the Plank Road String Band and the Lexington, VA Music Scene

Plank Road (FRC606)

By Brad Leftwich, Al Tharp and Odell McGuire

Brad Leftwich’s Memories

In the early 1970s it seemed like communities of people who loved and lived old-time music and dancing were popping up like mushrooms all over the country. One of the most vibrant was in Lexington, Virginia. I ran across a bunch of musicians from Lexington at the 1972 fiddlers convention in Independence, Va. (Wade Ward’s stomping grounds) and had such a great time Continue reading