Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1888

A dose of mountain dulcimer history throughout the year

Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1888

Postby dbennett » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:17 am

Willie Spainhour Greer (1888-1959) was born.

Willie Spainhour was married to Isaac Garfield (I.G.) Greer on August 10, 1915 in Burke County, North Carolina. Jean Ritchie in, "Dulcimer People”, tells us I.G. and Willie Greer began performing together the year they were married.

Isaac and Willie were the parents of Isaac Garfield (I.G.) Greer (1918-1998) and Joseph Phillip Greer (1922-2008).

According to Jean Ritchie in, "Dulcimer People", Willie learned to play the mountain dulcimer from her mother (Willie’s mother that is). Jean Ritchie further states that Mrs. Greer's dulcimer was made in Watauga County in the 19th century, and that Willie played with a noter and a quill.

In October 1929, Willie accompanied I.G. on the dulcimer when they recorded the ballad “Black Jack Davy”. In 1930 I.G. recorded for the Paramount Recording Company with Willie accompanying Ike on the dulcimer on two of his ballads, "Gypsie laddie" and "Earl Brand".

Ike and Willie also recorded ballads for the Library of Congress in the 1940s, with Willie accompanying I.G. on the dulcimer. They continued to perform at civic and scholarly functions well into their later years.
Greer Willie and IG.jpg
Greer Oct 1929 B.jpg
Last edited by dbennett on Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
Posts: 1050
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:12 am
Location: Athens, AL

Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1888

Postby strumelia » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:12 am

Love this. Thanks David.
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
Posts: 1784
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:05 pm

Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1888

Postby dholeton » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:16 pm

I found a video "Common Bill" attributed to I. G. Greer. I wonder if Willie was playing dulcimer while I. G. sang?


User avatar
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
Posts: 821
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1888

Postby kwl » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:22 pm

Thanks for the Common Bill audio/video, Dave. Here is a link to dulcimer tab for song the Greers did in the same manner: Thought some folks might like to try their hand at playing it.

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
User avatar
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
Posts: 17428
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2002 5:25 pm
Location: Reedsville, PA

Return to Today in Mountain Dulcimer History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest