March 30, 1906 – December 28, 1977 Remembering Leslie Keith

Remembering Leslie Keith (March 30, 1906 – December 28, 1977) was an American bluegrass musician. Known as a formidable fiddler who won many contests, Keith once played with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, as well as The Stanley Brothers. He is best known for the tune he put together out of pieces of older tunes, “Black Mountain Rag”. In 1938, Leslie and another champion fiddler rented a park and invited fiddlers to compete. It was evidently successful, as 27 fiddlers and a crowd of 9,400 showed up. By the late 1940s, Leslie was fiddler for Curly King and the Tennessee Hilltoppers, as featured on WCYB radio in Bristol, Virginia. He lived his final days and performed locally in Tucson, Arizona.

About the author

I enjoy researching Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, and Country birthdays, anniversaries and interesting trivia dates. I am a piano/organ performance major who has taught privately and served as church accompanist since 1968 in North Carolina and Central Kentucky. Although classically trained, I appreciate all genres of music. My mother, who was also a church musician and taught public school music grades K-12, knew that Bluegrass music was the purest American music. She always introduced her students to this fine genre and began my musical studies with her at age 2. Bach to Berachah Valley, Mozart to Jimmy Martin, Sibelius to Stanley Brothers, the list goes on, I hope you find some moments of enjoyment and learn a few interesting facts along the way.
I am thankful for the many resources we have at our fingertips including Google. FaceBook and BluegrassBios by Wayne Rice. It was he who inspired me to tackle the task of trying to pass on knowledge about Bluegrass music. Thanks Wayne~!
Lou Ellen Wilkie

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