Elmer Bird

Elmer Bird, "The Banjo Man from Turkey Creek," was born in rural Putnam County in 1920. Elmer learned his music from family members and neighbors on Turkey Creek, and as a young man he began making local appearances with his fiddling cousin George Bird. Later, as a solo performer, Elmer developed an impressive "double drop-thumb" banjo style and attracted a wide following both within West Virginia and across the country. Elmer Bird passed away in 1997. Photograph by Michael Keller.