19 May 2021

1972 old-time festival photos in the BS

The Bitter Southerner online magazine published yesterday (18 May) 'West Virginia, 1972, revisited', an account by the author Jay Steele of his mother Amy (1949-98) and in particular of the box of photos she had taken in the 1970s, which he only discovered after her death.

BIB readers will be specially interested in the eleven photos published in the article, which were taken at the Morris Family Old-Time Music Festival in Ivydale, WV, in 1972. This was one of several festivals hosted by the Morris Brothers, David and John, who were inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame (WVMHoF) in 2018. A six-minute video vignette, including clips from the 1972 festival, is in their WVNHoF induction text; more can be seen on YouTube. Dwight Diller, who played with them in the early 1970s, described them as 'powerhouses. Incredible'.

The photo heading the article (reproduced above) shows Lee Hammons, who was then in his late eighties. Dwight Diller met him in 1969, when he had just resumed playing after an interval of forty-six years; but, as Diller later said, 'He hadn't played any and he was immedately playing well.'

© Richard Hawkins

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