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David "Uncle Dave" Macon

October 7, 1870 - March 22, 1952

"Uncle" Dave Macon, a banjo virtuoso who by the time he made his first recordings was in his 50s, was not only known for his vast repertoire of old-time songs and banjo techniques (19 distinct styles have been identified across his recordings), but also for being an accomplished showman. This talent as a performer kept him employed when many of his peers were unable to continue their musical careers during the Depression. Soon after recording his first songs in 1924, Macon joined the WSM Barn Dance, soon to become the Grand Ole Opry. It was with the Opry that Uncle Dave Macon, "The Dixie Dewdrop," would make his name, and between 1924 and 1938 Macon recorded over 180 songs. When he died in 1952 he was still a regular and honored member of the Opry.

Some credit is due to Macon for the term "Hillbilly Music," as his song "Hill Billie Blues," based on the familiar tune "Hesitation Blues," was one of the songs that propelled him to fame.

Adapted from: Wolfe, Charles. "Uncle Dave Macon." The Encyclopedia of Country Music. ed. Paul Kingsbury. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, 320-21.