Personalities | Clarence ‘Tom’ Ashley | Early Years of Hillbilly | Country
(Vocals, banjo, 1895–1967)
Tom Ashley (as everyone but record companies called him) learned his trade as an entertainer by working on travelling shows. In the 1920s he played in The Carolina Tar Heels and recorded exceptional banjo-accompanied versions of ‘The Coo Coo Bird’ and the traditional ballad ‘The House Carpenter’. As late as the 1950s he was working with Ralph Stanley, performing in blackface. His Folkways LP Old-Time Music At Clarence Ashley’s introduced the world to Doc Watson.
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