Bluegrass

G. C. Collins

Fiddler

Webster, NC (Jackson County)

G. C. Collins grew up in Jackson County, near where he lives today. At the age of twelve, he took up playing the fiddle. His father was a fiddler whose playing inspired both G. C. and G. C.'s sister Darlene—now Darlene Hodges—to learn the instrument. He taught them many of the standard chestnuts of oldtime and bluegrass music, like "Down Yonder" and "Soldier's Joy." The three played as a family band, with Darlene then on guitar.

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Billy Constable

Bluegrass musician

Spruce Pine, NC (Avery County)

Billy Constable grew up in a very musical family in Avery County, and played music for most of his life.

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Cullen Galyean and The Bluegrassers

Bluegrass band

Low Gap, NC (Surry County)

Cullen Galyean and The Bluegrassers is a bluegrass band from Surry County that began when bluegrass veteran Cullen Galyean's son, Mickey Galyean, started playing mandolin. "I grew up going to fiddlers' conventions and festivals every weekend," says Mickey. Cullen reported that he loaned a mandolin to Mickey, and before long, Mickey had become fascinated with the mandolin and bluegrass music. "After just two weeks, he had figured out a couple tunes," said Cullen.

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R.G. Absher

Bluegrass and Oldtime Musician

Elkin, NC (Surry County)

R.G. Absher was born in West Jefferson, in Ashe County, and he has lived in western North Carolina most of his life. He first remembers paying attention to the sound of a banjo at nine years old when he heard the soundtrack for the movie Bonnie and Clyde. He got interested in playing music himself and started learning from friends and older musicians in the area. R.G. spent time with Al Wood, a banjo player from Alexander County, Fred Weaver, an oldtime two-finger banjo player from Alleghany County, and Bill Young, a finger-style guitar picker who also played rock-a-billy.

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