Tag Archives: appalachian music

Final Note: Placement of Rattlesnake Rattles Inside Instruments

Fiddler Bev Conrad, experimenting with a rattlesnake rattle in her fiddle, removed it the next day to find the rattle dust coated—“a big ball of lint, fuzz, dust, and cobwebs had been gathered up by the sweeping motion of the rattle as it wandered around the inside of the fiddle”.

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The art and influence of fiddler Henry Reed

James Henry Neel Reed, known as Henry Reed, was born on April 28, 1884, in Monroe County, WV,  a rural county lying along the Virginia border in the Appalachian Mountains of southeastern West Virginia. Reed grew up in Monroe County as a member of a large extended family. His father and at least one uncle […]

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Samantha Bumgarner records the first banjo record ever

It took awhile for the promising young musician to gain widespread recognition, though. She was 37 years old when Columbia Phonograph Company took notice of her and invited her and Eva Smathers Davis to New York City to record for them.

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You can’t make a livin’ at a cotton mill

When you buy clothes on easy terms, The collector treats you like measly worms; One dollar down and then, Lord knows, If you don’t make a payment they’ll take your clothes. When you go to bed, you can’t sleep, You owe so much at the end of the week. No use to collect, they’re all […]

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In search of blind fiddler Ed Haley

Please welcome guest author Brandon Ray Kirk. Kirk, an instructor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, is a scholar on Appalachian feuds and Southern violence. He possesses an M.A. degree in history from Marshall University and has written more than fifty articles on Appalachian-themed topics for regional newspapers and books. […]

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