March 23, 1915, – November 30, 2001 Remembering “Pappy” Sherrill

Remembering Homer “Pappy” Lee Sherrill (March 23, 1915, – November 30, 2001) was an American Old Time and Bluegrass fiddler was born in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. Pappy received his first fiddle, a tin model from Sears and Roebuck, at the age of seven. His first professional performance was in 1928 at Radio Station WSOC in Gastonia, North Carolina. In 1934 Pappy was performing for the Crazy Water Barn Dance on Charlotte, North Carolina’s WBT radio station. It was while playing for Crazy Water Crystals that Pappy joined The Blue Sky Boys at station WWNC in Asheville, NC and later The Crazy Blue Ridge Hillbillies at station WGST in Atlanta, Ga. There, he met his wife and formed another band named The Smiling Rangers and moved back to Raleigh, NC at WPTF and then to Danville, VA for station WBTM.
In October 1939 Pappy joined the WIS Hillbillies. This introduced Pappy to Dewitt “Snuffy” Jenkins and began a musical friendship that would endure throughout their lifetime. In 1948 Byron Parker, “The Hired Hand”, died. To honor the memory of their dear friend the WIS Hillbillies underwent a name change and became The Hired Hands. The Hired Hands became a veritable force in the country music scene in South Carolina and in 1954 they appeared on WIS-TV’s very first day of broadcast. There, the group conducted a television show, “Carolina in the Morning.”

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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