|John Morgan Salyer and his half sisters Molly and Julia @ 1910 beside his barn on his farm at the head of the Birch Branch of the Burning Fork of the Licking River, Magoffin County, KY. John would have been 28, Molly 20, Julia 13.|
|John Morgan Salyer|
We spent a lot of time with Uncle Grover and Aunt Emma as I was growing up and so the stories of Fiddlin' John were burned in our memories. The trip to the World's Fair in 1933 was a legend in our family that we never tired of hearing. I also knew that John Salyer had a fierce disagreement with a recording company after the Fair and was adamant that his music never be exploited for money. In 1941 Grover bought a machine that he could use to make records of his Dad's music.
Bruce Green was a song catcher who convinced Grover to house the recordings at the Sound Archives at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Those recordings can be listened to and downloaded at the Berea College website, John Salyer Fiddle Tunes.
|Jennie Get Around recorded 12-17-1941.|
|This is one of the vinyls that Grover made with his machine.|
Bruce also recorded my grandmother's banjo playing, and for that I will always be grateful. When I was a kid I never really appreciated the fact that my grandmother played the banjo. I suppose I thought everyone's grandmother played the banjo! Here's one of those recordings made by Bruce.
My cousin Donnie also made me the custodian of one of my grandma's banjos and so now Mammie and John's music makers are once again reunited after probably some 100 years since they played their last square dance together.