Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1995

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Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1995

Postby dbennett » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:23 am

William Barney “Bill” Davis (1926-1995) died in Benton County, Tennessee. Bill was born March 13, 1926, also in Benton County, Tennessee.

Bill was a Navy veteran, a plumber who had his own plumbing business, a folk musician and a dulcimer luthier. Bill saw his first dulcimer in 1956 and started building them around 1961. In 1963, he and his then wife, Jean Davis (Schilling) went full time in the luthier business opening the Davis Dulcimer Shop in Gatlinburg, TN. In 1968, his four string dulcimers sold for $100 and about $150 in 1971. Davis experimented with a number of different patterns before settling on his now-iconic all-hardwood "fiddleside" dulcimer. He built more than 1,000 finished dulcimers and another 1,400 (estimated) kits, most of which have elegantly carved headstocks and all of which have wooden pegs. Their son, Jack Davis, also builds dulcimers and bowed psalteries. Bill released a number of LPs featuring himself performing regional dulcimer music. Bill’s building career apparently ended after he lost some fingers to a table saw.

Bill and Jean organized a number of dulcimer-related festivals in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and elsewhere in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains through the 1960s and 1970s, promoting mountain dulcimers and traditional music, and performed regularly on the local Gatlinburg TV.
Davis Bill.JPG
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dbennett
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Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 24 July 1995

Postby dbennett » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:23 pm

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