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Union Grove 1969 - FRC-114-CD

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(From the collection of Ray Alden)

During Easter Week of 1969, my wife Diane and I took a two-day trip down then incomplete Interstate 81 to smaller roads leading to the small town of Union Grove, North Carolina. We arrived late at night to the last Fiddler's Convention to be held at the old school house. On stage in the school gym was an older man fiddling up a storm and wriggling his body to his music. It turned out to be the legendary Clark Kessinger, heard here on four tracks. The next day we recorded the remarkable Buffalo Ford Boys, from Asheboro North Carolina, with Glenn Davis picking a top tension Mastertone banjo in a bouncy Charlie Poole style. We then wandered over to Bob Douglas, from southern Tennessee and who in 1928 had worked with the Allen Brothers, playing some lovely fiddle music. I then had a pleasant discussion with Wade Ward. This was followed by recording a succession of musicians, including fiddler H.A. Harold of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and a group of old time musicians from whom I neglected to get names. I felt I had landed in southern old time music paradise, causing me a hard time when I returned back to teaching in New York. - Ray Alden