Across the Blue Ridge #139 - Galax Fiddlers’ Convention

Across the Blue Ridge #139 - Galax Fiddlers’ Convention

5:25pm Aug 17, 2018
The Bogtrotters were a Galax, Virginia-area band – shown here in 1937 – active in the early years of the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention, which was founded in 1935. (L-R Doctor W.P. Davis, Uncle Alec Dunford, Crockett Ward, Fields Ward, Wade Ward) This week’s Across the Blue Ridge episode features music from the 1960s and 1970s at the convention, an event that continues each August to this day.
Library of Congress, Alan Lomax Collection.

This week we hear music from the past at the Galax, VA Old Fiddlers’ Convention.  The event was founded in 1935 by the local Moose Lodge, and is now billed as the world’s oldest and largest fiddlers’ convention.  Musicians and fans from around the world globe gather every August for the convention which local men of the Moose first put together “to raise a little money”, according to one of the founders.  What started as a small event in a schoolhouse now encompasses all of the downtown city park and is a major attraction for old-time and bluegrass musicians.

 

As this year’s convention concludes in Galax, we hear music from earlier days – the 1960s and 1970s – providing a sense of the evolution of the festival and its soundscape.  Hear some of the old mountaineer fiddlers and banjo pickers, plus singers and the emerging bluegrass sound which was taking hold in the region.  Most of the music on this show is drawn from recordings of onstage contest performances the Galax Moose Lodge #733 has released over the years.

Playlist

  1. June Apple
    Camp Creek Boys
    Old Time String Band
    County
     
  2. Sally Ann
    George Stoneman
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  3. Honeysuckle Rag
    Mountain Ramblers with Otis Burris
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  4. Same Old Man Living At The Mill
    Clint Howard
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  5. Walking In My Sleep
    Virginia Playboys
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  6. Cumberland Gap
    Lost John Ray
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  7. Walkin' In The Parlor
    Norman Edmonds & The Old Timers
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  8. Kingdom's Come
    Norman Edmonds & The Old Timers
    Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Folkways
     
  9. Break 1 - Grass Fire
    Carolina Travelers
    Grass Fire
    Eastwood
     
  10. Chilly Winds
    Wade Ward
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  11. John Hardy
    Buck Mountain Band
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  12. Raw Hide
    Twin County Partners
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  13. Handsome Molly
    Roger Sprung
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  14. Black Mountain Rag
    Harry Hall
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  15. East Tennessee Blues
    Carolina Playboys
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  16. Durham's Bull
    Dixie Travelers
    33rd Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  17. Break 2 - Pretty Betty Martin & Cora Lee
    Paul Brown & Company
    Red Dog
    Ryland Records
     
  18. Knoxville Girl
    Betty Smith
    37th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  19. Ida Red
    Calvin Cole
    37th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  20. Mocking Bird
    Jimmy Edmonds
    37th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  21. Sweet Sunny South
    Larry McPeak
    37th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  22. Rachel
    Joe Edd King
    38th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  23. Many A Mile
    New Grass Express
    38th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733
     
  24. Sail Away Ladies
    Steve Burcham
    44th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention
    Galax Moose Lodge #733