The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Galax, Virginia - Old Fiddlers Convention Book

By Herman K. Williams

Issue: August, 1985

Banjo picking fun. Photo courtesy Virginia Department of Tourism.Banjo picking fun. Photo courtesy Virginia Department of Tourism.The annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention held at Felts Park in Galax, Virginia is coming up August 7th through the 10th [1985]. Most of you have heard about it. It's world famous. In 1974, a band from Japan showed up for the competition and from those who heard them, it was said that they were pretty good at country music.

But, did you know when the first Galax Old Fiddlers Convention was held? Do you know who was the first fiddle player to win and what songs were played? The answers to all that and more are to be found in the book, "The First Forty Years Of The Old Fiddlers Convention" by Herman K. Williams.

This paperback book documents the Fiddlers Convention from its beginnings and has many old photographs of the early groups.

The author of this book, Herman K. Williams, was there from the beginning. He was one of the Masters of Ceremonies at the first one in 1935. That year there were 146 musicians entered on the Friday program. By Saturday night, 64 were eliminated and 72 competed for the $110.00 offered in prize money.

Through the years the Fiddlers Convention has continued to grow and prosper. If you're a fan of old time and bluegrass music, you would enjoy reading this book. It is filled with information about the pioneer old time musicians and their performances at the convention. You'll be surprised to see how many of the early musicians are still around and still making their music - Music born and bred in the Blue Ridge, but enjoyed the whole world over.

You may order a copy of "The First Forty Years Of The Old Fiddlers Convention” from:

Herman K. Williams
Rt. 6, Box 180
Galax, VA 24333

The price of the book is $5.00 plus $1.00 for postage and handling.