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Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World$
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Richard Jones-Bamman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041303

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041303.001.0001

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The Old-Time Nation

The Old-Time Nation

(p.44) 2 The Old-Time Nation
Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World

Richard Jones-Bamman

University of Illinois Press

This chapter delves into the musical community associated with old-time music and its beginnings within the American folk music revival of the 1950s. From the start, this was an intentional community largely urban based and focused on recreating music many of its adherents viewed as embodying a simpler time, and representing vaguely defined notions of tradition. Various influential musicians are profiled, all of who contributed to the popularity of this music especially among college aged, predominantly white individuals. These include the New Lost City Ramblers, Hollow Rock String Band, Fuzzy Mountain String Band and Highwoods String Band. The interest in this music during the revival era also inspired the first small-scale banjo builders who became important participants in this process by making instruments available at a time when the major instrument manufacturers were ignoring this phenomenon. Several of these makers are profiled and their contributions discussed: Chuck Ogsbury (Ode banjos); Art Gariepy; Kate Spencer (A.E. Smith banjos); Bart Reiter.

Keywords:   old-time music, intentional community, folk music revival, New Lost City Ramblers, Hollow Rock String Band, Fuzzy Mountain String Band, Highwoods String Band, Chuck Ogsbury, Ode banjos, Art Gariepy, Kate Spencer, A.E. Smith banjos, Bart Reiter

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