Meet the individuals who defined the sound of old time country music at the pinnacle of Appalachian ingenuity. These are the figures with the grit and fortitude for commercial success and those who maintained their connection to the deeper traditions of folk at the dawn of a new industry.

Dent Wimmer and Sam Conner

Dent Wimmer

Dennis Omer “Dent” Wimmer (1908-1979) was one of nine children born to Thomas Fleming Wimmer and Hattie DeWeese Wimmer of Copper Hill in Floyd, County.  Thomas Wimmer was a fiddle player, and he passed his […]

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Sam Conner

Sam Conner

BY MAC TRAYNHAM AND ALICE SLUSHER— Oldtime fiddler Samuel Henry Conner was born in 1909 in Franklin County and lived the majority of his life in the Copper Hill area of Floyd County, Virginia. Both Sam

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Charley LaPrade

Charley LaPrade

BY KINNEY RORRER— Charley Washington LaPrade  was born in Franklin County in 1888.  His family moved to Spray (Eden), North Carolina around 1900 to work in the cotton mills there as had other families from

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Charlie Poole

Charlie Poole

BY KINNEY RORRER— Charles Cleveland Poole (March 22, 1892- MAY 21, 1931) — Born into a family of North Carolina cotton mill workers, Charlie and his family moved from Iredell County to Randolph County finally

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John Rector and members of the Hill Billies

John Rector

BY JOSH BECKWORTH— Henry Whitter and Fiddlin’ John Carson’s initial recording sessions in 1923 set off a shockwave in popular music. Record producers, suddenly aware of an untapped demand for ‘authentic’ folk musicians, began scrambling

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Emmett W. Lundy

Emmett W. Lundy

BY MARTY McGEE Emmett W. Lundy of Delhart was reputed to be one of the finest oldtime fiddlers from the Galax, Virginia, area.  Born during the Civil War, Lundy acquired much of his older repertoire

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G.B Grayson

G.B. Grayson

—BY JOSH BECKWORTH G.B., or Gilliam Banmon, Grayson was born on November 11th, 1887. The precise location of his birth is unclear, but was either in Ashe County, North Carolina, or in bordering Johnson County,

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Spangler and Pearson

Spangler and Pearson

Because of his radio broadcasts over WRVA between 1926 and 1931, John Wallace “Babe” Spangler was one of his era’s most influential fiddlers. Born in Meadows of Dan in Patrick County, Virginia on November 15,

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