Buell KazeeMarch 06, 2012
Date of Birth: August 29, 1900
Place of Birth: Burton Fork (Magoffin County), Kentucky
Date of Death: August 31, 1976
Kazee began playing banjo at age five, learning most of his songs from his immediate family. He began studying to become a minister as a teenager and attended Georgetown College (Kentucky). In 1925, he gave a recital of the songs he knew at the University of Kentucky, wearing a tux while accompanying himself on banjo and piano, and giving explanatory talks about each song. The songs were sung in a 'formal' voice style, eschewing the high, lonesome mountain influence. The concert was a huge success and he repeated the performance many times in subsequent years.
In April 1927, Buell was signed to Brunswick Records and recorded over fifty mountain songs in his tight, high mountain voice, and was backed up by New York studio musicians. For Brunswick, he recorded "John Hardy," "Rock Island," "East Virginia," "The Roving Cowboy," and many others.
After marrying in the early 1930s, he ceased recording and touring and became a minister at a church in Morehead, Kentucky. During the Folk revival of the late 1950s and early 1960's, he was among those to be rediscovered, and one of the first to appear at the influential Newport Folk Festival.