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From the Archives: Jesse McReynolds Shares Memories of His Grandfather’s Fiddle

Jun 27, 2023

Jesse McReynolds on a video set, holding his suspenders and smiling

(Editor’s Note: Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee and Grand Ole Opry member Jesse McReynolds passed away on June 23, 2023 at the age of 94. In his honor, we’re re-sharing this incredible first-person video from early 2020 that features McReynolds telling stories of his grandfather’s fiddle.)

A true legend as one half of iconic brother duo Jim & Jesse, 90-year-old musician Jesse McReynolds has inspired generations of pickers. But who influenced him? In this interview clip, the Grand Ole Opry star and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member reminisces about walking through the woods to visit his grandfather in Possum Holler, Virginia, near Coeburn. About a half a mile away, the sounds of his ancestor’s fiddle would greet him.

McReynolds further explains that his grandfather played on the Bristol Sessions, which ushered in artists such as the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Now, McReynolds has inherited that treasured fiddle, which can be heard on his latest Pinecastle Records album, The Bull Mountain Moonshiners’ Way. “I don’t know how long it’s been around, but it’s sounding better all the time, I think,” he says.

(Originally published in February of 2020.)

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From the Archives: Jesse McReynolds Shares Memories of His Grandfather's Fiddle