Personalities | The Hill Billies | Early Years of Hillbilly | Country
(Vocal/instrumental group, 1920s)
The Hill Billies, led by pianist Al Hopkins (1889–1932), was the first band to employ the slighting term ‘hillbilly’, initiating a terminological debate that went on for decades. Originally based in Galax, Virginia, the band included fiddlers Tony Alderman (1900–83) and Charlie Bowman (1889–1962) and banjoist John Rector (d. 1985). The Hill Billies’ records on Vocalion and Brunswick – a mixture of songs and dance tunes, ingeniously arranged with solo passages – were steady sellers in the 1920s.
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