October 27, 1908 – April 29, 1990 Remembering “Snuffy” Jenkins

Remembering DeWitt “Snuffy” Jenkins (October 27, 1908 – April 29, 1990) born in Harris, NC, was an American old time banjo player. He is credited as being the first country musician to play banjo using the three-finger style which was later refined and popularized by Earl Scruggs. A humble man, he never wanted credit for inventing the style. Said he didn’t know where it came from—but admits he was probably the first to play banjo that way on the radio. The first band to have a three-finger style banjo was The Jenkins String Band. In 1948, Jenkins formed The Hired Hands, a band name that he kept going until his death in 1990.
In 1979, the surviving members of The Hired Hands were invited to stage an old time medicine show in the hamlet of Bailey, North Carolina. The success of the show led the North Carolina Public Television to produce the “Free Show Tonight” which aired over PBS, narrated by Roy Acuff. The Hired Hands also performed their medicine show at the Smithsonian Institution and in 1983, at the American Place Theater in New York City.

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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