06 July 2020

News from the Mother Country

Charlie Daniels (photo: Tennesseean files)

Thanks to Uri Kohen for the sad news that Charlie Daniels, the most prominent, flamboyant, and controversial fiddle player in country music, died early today after a stroke at the age of 83. He joined the Grand Ole Opry cast in 2008 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Born and raised in North Carolina, he absorbed bluegrass among other musical influences, and could play banjo and mandolin as well as fiddle and guitar; his many achievements included being Bob Dylan's guitarist of choice on three albums. A full obituary by Dave Paulson and Matthew Leimkuehler appeared today in the Nashville Tennessean.

Update 10 July: The funeral service is being held today at Murfreesboro, TN, followed by private burial at Mount Juliet, TN. John Lawless gives details on Bluegrass Today.
Thanks to Ed Bowes of Virginia (see the BIB for 23 June) for the news that the online instruction programme of the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, is now under way. Ed reports:

We have already watched a couple of the classes and they were very good. One was on swing drumming and the other on Cajun fiddle. Both were surprisingly relevant to banjo or any other instrument. The classes will be up on YouTube and available until sometime in early September.
Also from West Virginia: a fifty-seven-minute video on YouTube since last September, 'In tune: a community of musicians', in which the Augusta Center and many other aspects of traditional music and culture are mentioned. Near the end there is a stunning clip of Hazel Dickens singing a cappella 'Hills of Galilee' (which she sang in the 1987 film Matewan). You can also hear her sing the whole song here.

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