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West Virginia Archives and History Library

Family Heritage Music
September 11, 2014

On September 11, 2014, fiddler Bobby Taylor will present “Family Heritage Music” at the Thursday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library of the Culture Center in Charleston. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The evening’s program will be a combination of historical information on and musical performance of heritage music. Taylor will have several family instruments on display. The exhibit also will include photographs. Accompanying Taylor on musical selections will be Kim Johnson, on banjo, and other musicians.

Library manager for Archives and History, Bobby Taylor is a fourth-generation West Virginia fiddler. His father Lincoln Taylor was a fiddler who three weeks before his death in 2005 taught Bobby one more fiddle tune. His grandfathers, John Clinton Taylor and George Washington Moore, were fiddlers; both of their fiddles and stories will be showcased in his presentation. Other family musicians include his great grandfather Elijah Jefferson Taylor, Hasseltine Taylor Humphreys, Mike Humphreys, Lyle Taylor, and Reece B. (Sam) Jarvis.

Taylor plays several styles of old-time and contest fiddling but got his early start from the legendary Clark Kessinger. In his presentation, he will share the influence of Kessinger and other legendary fiddlers such as Ed Haley and Doc Roberts.

Taylor is both a performer and an advocate of West Virginia fiddling. He was the 1977 West Virginia State Open Fiddle Champion and, in 2003, received the Footbridge Award from FOOTMAD (Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance) for his contributions to old-time music. In 2010, Taylor was presented the Vandalia Award by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. He has coordinated both the Vandalia Gathering and the Appalachian String Band Music Festival contests for more than two decades and has served as a judge at the Galax Fiddlers Convention in Virginia, the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in Nashville, Tennessee, and at other competitions. Taylor was a featured performer at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center in 2012, and the Library of Congress show was recorded for their permanent collection. He teaches fiddle, too.

Kim Johnson has played music with several old-time legendary musicians and has recorded with greats such as Wilson Douglas and Lester McCumbers. She plays two different styles of banjos made by the legendary Jenes Cottrell.

For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

West Virginia Archives and History Workshops/Lectures

West Virginia Archives and History