Friday, August 14, 2009

Two-Lane Livin' Meet-Up

I'm not mad, really! Larry was taking pictures of me with Lisa Hayes-Minney, editor and owner of the monthly magazine Two-Lane Livin'. I was asking, "did it take?" when the camera flashed. Oh well. The other photo he took is too blurry to use. Lisa looks awesome!

Finally the day came when I would meet my fellow columnists for Two-Lane Livin'. And did I remember to take pictures? Of course not, or at least not until the evening was almost over. Ah well. I am hoping Lisa will post some on the TLL website.
Good food, good conversation, and a chance to pick up back issues of TLL that I was missing--all in all, it was a wonderful Friday evening.
I did at least remember to take some photos of the musicians! Mack Samples is a contributor to TLL and he invited his good friend Buddy Griffin to share some music for us.

The instruments are coming out! That always indicates a good time is on the way.

Buddy Griffin and Mack Samples did not disappoint us. Both are names well known in West Virginia music circles. We heard some good, good tunes--Marching Through Georgia, Lizy Jane, Barbara Ellen, Old Joe Clarke, and others.

Here Buddy demonstrates something that was a trademark of an old-time musician in West Virginia called Natchee the Indian--loosening the bowstrings and playing with the bow on one side of the fiddle and the strings against the fiddle strings. He played a little of Precious Memories for us using this unusual technique. (More about Natchee below)

About Natchee: Since I had never heard of Natchee the Indian, of course I needed to look him up online. I found little information; usually what I found was in relation to his partnership with the better-known Cowboy Copas who died in the plane crash with Patsy Kline and others.

Here is a little about Natchee:


Natchee was a fiddler born in Peebles, Ohio, who became well known in
southern Ohio in the 1930s. He and Lloyd “Cowboy” Copas traveled with promoter
Larry Sunbrock, who staged fiddle contests pitting Natchee against other famous fiddlers
of the day, including Clayton McMichen, Curly Fox, and Clark Kessinger. Natchee was
a showman and trick fiddler and would win a lot of the contests. The general consensus
is that the contests were probably fixed (most of the fiddlers were paid by Sunbrock).
There is some doubt that Natchee was even an Indian; he was rumored to be either Italian
or Greek. To add to the confusion, he worked on radio with “Indian Bill and Little
Montana” (Bill and Evalina Stallard). He apparently also worked around Dayton and
Cincinnati with Emory Martin and with Jimmie Skinner. Aside from all rumors, people
who saw Natchee remembered him for his showmanship. From the Miami University at Hamilton webpage on musicians from the Cincinnati area.

This photo of Natchee (the only one I could find online) is from
a page of old-time music photos on Perry Blech's website.


Susan at Stony River said...

My husband takes the WORST photos of me, he has me in tears sometimes. I think I need to work on being always prepared -- permasmile or something!

I love TLL; I picked up a copy in Flatwoods when we went monster hunting. Can't find it up here however so I snag it whenever we go south a bit. Must look for it again today!

I'd never heard of Natchee until now; thank you for sharing this about him! It's so sad to lose people so young, and it sounds like he had a great career ahead. I would have loved to see him play.

Janet, said...

That sounds like you had a great time! Don't forget to bring copies with you to the meeting on Monday.

Lisa Minney said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading - way behind!

Believe it or not, I didn't get many pictures either. I'll post a group photo soon though!


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