05 August 2021

Medical fund for Spencer Nitchie of Banjo News Letter

John Lawless on Bluegrass Today posts the sad news that Spencer Nitchie, the business editor of Banjo News Letter (BNL; founded by his father fifty years ago) is suffering from cancer of the liver and pancreas. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help his family meet medical expenses; at the time of writing this post, $15,455 has been raised towards a target of $50,000.

John Lawless mentions that while BNL is dedicated to the 5-string banjo, and Spencer's father Hub favoured bluegrass and his brother Donald old-time music, Spencer himself plays tenor banjo. A video of him playing Irish music can be seen on the GoFundMe page and on YouTube; other footage on YouTube shows him improvising in swing style on the tenor.

Update 7 Aug.: We learn with regret that Spencer Nitchie died yesterday (6 Aug.). Helene Clay, organiser of the medical fund (for which $29,723 has now been received) reports that donations are still welcome, as there is no knowing what total expenses may be.

© Richard Hawkins

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