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David Harrison (“Uncle Dave”) Macon was born October 7th, 1870 in Smart Station, Tennessee
. He started the Macon Midway Mule and Transporation Company
in 1900 but with the invention of the automobile he turned his attentions to his talent for music. The Banjo was his instrument of choice, his nicknames included “Dixie Dewdrop”, “ the King Of The Hillbillies”, and “the King Of Banjo Players.”
While playing for a farmer's party in 1918, he was noticed by a Loew's talent scout and was offered a position at a theatre in Birmingham, Alabama
. Macon began touring the country from Boston
- and in 1925 his big break came when he began appearing on Nashville
's Saturda night Barn Dance on WSM - later to be called the Grand Ole Opry. At age 56 he was (disputedly - see Deford Bailey) the Grand Ole Opry
's first real star and one of it's most popular entertainers.
Macon started the band Fruit Jar Drinkers
in 1927, the band recoreded old-time string band music in New York
Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival
- established to honor his memory - is held annually in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Uncle Dave Macon was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame
One interesting and notable fact about Uncle Dave Macon is that he stood up for African-American artist Deford Bailey
on tours, refusing to stay at hotels that did not accept Bailey.
Some of Macon's best known songs include:
There's an excellent book with more information on Macon called Stars Of Country Music: Uncle Dave Macon to Johnny Rodriguez
, by Bill Malone
(Publisher: University Of Illinois Press).
Uncle Dave Macon (partial) Discography:
Uncle Dave Macon
Rest In Peace