Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25 July 1882

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Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25 July 1882

Postby dbennett » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:55 am

Roby Monroe Hicks (1882-1957) was born in Watauga County North Carolina on this date. Roby died on July 27, 1957 also in Watauga County North Carolina.

Roby learned instrument making from his father. Roby and his wife, Buna Presnell Hicks (1888-1984), were both well-known singers and musicians.

Ralph Lee Smith wrote in Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions: “Roby and Buna were married when Roby was 15 and Buna was 13. Both said in independent interviews that when Buna was 11, 13-year old Roby came courting, carrying a dulcimer, which he showed her how to play. This would have been around 1898-1899, about 15 years after the Stranger from the West passed through.” They had nine children one of whom was Stanley Hicks (1911–1989) also a well-known banjo and dulcimer maker.

In her book, American Banjo Echoes in Appalachia (1995), Cecelia Conway gives the following quote from Roby’s son, Stanley, about his father, “My daddy’s gone on; my grandpaw’s gone on; my great-grandpaw’s gone on. But they still live-you know, the spirit’s still here. Your folks can die and go on, but they’re still here. I don’t know whether you ever thought about it like that or not, but I can show you. Here is my Daddy’s dulcimer. That’s his dulcimer he built years ago; it still lives, it’s still here. You see, hit’s still here, it’s not gone. And same way by myself-when I’m gone, there’s some of my stuff that the young ‘uns ... you know, it still lives.”

Stanley, in a 1980 article, said of the antique tools in his (Stanley’s) shop, which he still used, “My dad made all of his tools,” he said.
Hicks Roby2.jpg
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dbennett
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Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25 July 1882

Postby danc9 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:51 am

Nettie was their daughter?

DAN
http://www.dulcimore.com
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Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25 July 1882

Postby dbennett » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:06 am

danc9 wrote:Nettie was their daughter?

DAN
http://www.dulcimore.com


I'll have to look when I get home this evening. I was thinking her father was Ben Hicks
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Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25 July 1882

Postby dbennett » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:14 am

danc9 wrote:Nettie was their daughter?
DAN
http://www.dulcimore.com


Nettie was daughter of Ben Hicks. Roby was her uncle.

"Edd Presnell was raised in a musical family and community near Beech Mountain. The area was home to storytellers, ballad singers, banjo pickers, instrument builders, and toy makers. He was particularly interested in woodworking. He first heard a dulcimer when his future wife, Nettie Hicks, came by with an instrument her father, Ben, built. "I was 15 or 16," Presnell recalled, "and Nettie brought the dulcimer over and played it." With help from his future father-in-law, Presnell made his first dulcimer in 1936."
http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/traditional-artist-directory/edd-presnell


https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=93238268
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