Bristol, Va.-Tenn. (August 4, 2022) – Writer and banjo player Dr. Malcolm L. Smith will discuss his book “Appalachian Fiddler Albert Hash: The Last Leaf on the Tree” as part of this month’s Speaker Series at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol. The event will be held in the museum’s performance theater at 7 p.m. EDT, Aug. 9. The program is free and open to the public, with both in-person and virtual options for participants to join.
Luthier and 1995 NEA National Heritage Fellow Wayne Henderson credits his entire career to the mentorship of Albert Hash. “He was a true folk hero,” says Henderson in the forward to Smith’s biography. Born and raised near Whitetop Mountain in extreme poverty, Hash rose to become one of the premiere old-time fiddlers in the world with the Whitetop Mountain Band, as well as building hundreds of sought after fiddles in his shop on Virginia’s second highest peak.
With this Speaker Series, Smith will share stories and memories that he learned in over 100 hours of interviews conducted while researching Hash. During the program, a local musician will demonstrate Hash’s unique bowing style and play some of the fiddler’s songs. Smith will also sign copies of his book “Appalachian Fiddler Albert Hash: The Last Leaf on the Tree,” which will be available for purchase at the event.
Dr. Smith specializes in writing about old-time musicians. In addition to Albert Hash’s biography, Smith has written countless stories for The Old Time Herald, SingOut!, and other magazines. He has written feature stories on banjo builder Mac Traynham, 90-year-old banjoist Rhoda Kemp, Walt Koken and Clare Milner, and many others.
If you are planning to attend the Speaker Series in person, please RSVP using the link on the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org. Those who wish to attend virtually must pre-register at the same location online.