Mountain Swing

Charles Gidney


Canton, NC (Haywood County)

When overseas during the Second World War, Charles Gidney, then a soldier and military photographer, brought a bit of Haywood County's music to his fellow servicemen in the European theater. During his tour of duty, Gidney, who had learned to play the guitar during his childhood in Canton, met several other young American soldiers with musical talent. Together they formed a band called The Blue-Eyed Boys, and played at servicemen's clubs and over American military radio stations.

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Josh Goforth

Bluegrass and oldtime musician

Johnson City, TN

Josh Goforth must have been born musical—he was already playing piano in church at the age of four—but it was an experience he had in the sixth grade that really lit the fuse of his precocious musical career. A performance at Goforth's middle school by Sheila Kay Adams caused him to start thinking about the musical heritage of his native Madison County. A couple of years later, he received his first guitar from one of his great-uncles, and began to learn the instrument under the tutelage of another great-uncle.

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Laura Boosinger

Oldtime and mountain swing musician

Asheville, NC (Buncombe County)

When she was eighteen years old, Laura Boosinger moved to Swannanoa to attend Warren Wilson College, and she soon enrolled in a banjo class. That class proved to be the beginning of an acclaimed career as a traditional musician. In 1984, Boosinger heard a rumor that the Luke Smathers Band of Canton, mountain swing virtuosos, needed a new banjo player. Shyly, she approached Smathers and asked to be considered.

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