Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lowe Stokes day

Georgia fiddler Lowe Stokes was born in 1898 or 1900 in Elijay, GA, as Marcus Lowell Stokes. He learned to play fiddle as a child and soon began to take part in the Atlanta Fiddlers' Convention that was held every year. In 1918, he became a member of Clayton McMichen's band and played with various Georgia based musicians around Atlanta. During the 1920s, he recorded as a member of several groups, including John Dilleshaw's band and the famous Skillet Lickers. Along with Bert Layne, Stokes was an important figure as the third fiddler creating the wild hot fiddle sound for which the Skillet Lickers were famous. At the end of the decade, Stokes also had his own string band, the North-Georgians, and recorded with Clayton McMichen, A.A. Gray, Hoke Rice, Claude Davis, Mike Whitten and others a number of Jazz influenced songs for Brunswick. On christmas 1930, Stokes was shot down during a personal appereance (on a Skillet Lickers tour). He had survided previous attacks on the tours, but this one was the heaviest one. Stokes lost his hand, but Bert Layne, a talented mechanic and good friend of Stokes', built him a prosthesis and Stokes learned to play fiddle again. In the 1930s, music was only a hobby to Stokes, although he kept on performing well into the 1980s (for a time, he had given up music). Stokes died in 1983.

Here are four songs of Lowe Stokes:

1. Four Cent Cotton
2. Billy in the Low Ground
3.Take Me Back to Georgia (with Mike Whitten)
4. Swamp Cat Rag (with A.A. Gray as the "Swamp Rooters")

1 comment:

A Little of A Lot said...

So glad you honored Lowe Stokes! He's one of the best old-time fiddlers in my opinion. How amazing is it that he actually learned to play the fiddle, even after losing that vital limb?! Terrific musician, sadly forgotten today.