Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fiddlers Conventions...Late 60's.

By the late 60s, the Virginia-Carolina dance had about played out, but about this time, I had gotten to the point where I could play some on the banjo.

In 1967, the first time I ever played out anywhere except the dances was at the Collinsville Recreation Center's Fiddlers Convention. Camden Joyce played banjo with Cecil Hall and a band that Cecil he had put together on Friday night, but he couldn’t play on Saturday night. Cecil asked if I could play with them. Cam was a great banjo player and I’ll never forget him playing that Friday night.
They did “Just Because” and he really sounded good. On Saturday night, we only played one tune. I can’t remember the fiddler but he played “Bear Creek Hop.” We didn’t place in the top 5 groups.

Then, by 1968, Doug and Larry Cobbler and I had met Henry and Louis Mabe. We met on a Wednesday night in May and went to Boones Mill, Virginia, to a Fiddlers Convention that weekend and came in second that Saturday night.

Cecil Hall and Henry Mabe at Collinsville in the fiddle competiton, November 1968.

Henry was a good fiddler and Louis, a good mandolin player. When we competed at Collinsville, we didn’t place as a band, but Henry won second on the fiddle.

Henry getting his ribbon and check, November 1968,

Marshall Hall in the folk singing competition.


  1. Doug,
    I really enjoy your verbal snippets of time. They are talking about a time when the music was really coming into its own and unlike today, many were having to find their own way. It is a great time in Bluegrass history.
    Glad you are posting again.
    ken h.

  2. Boone's Mill -- there was a great old-time fiddler there, named N.H. 'Nick' Mills. He played a tune that would work well on 3-finger banjo, I think; 'Cuffee'. I think he was kind of cranky and antisocial in his older years. I never met him, but a friend of mine did and taped him. As my friend was leaving, Mills told him to tell anyone who asked about him that he was dead!