Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 18 October 1985

A dose of mountain dulcimer history throughout the year

Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 18 October 1985

Postby dbennett » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:25 am

Raymond Vinton Melton (1915-1985) died. He was born to Samuel Amon Melton (1863 - 1933) and Maggie Lamar Todd Melton (1874 - 1960).

Raymond’s grandfather Amon Melton (1840-1925) and great-uncle Stephen Melton, Jr. (1852-1917) built and played dulcimers. The skill was passed down the line to not only Raymond but also to his brothers Jacob Fredrick Melton (1893 - 1967) and Daniel Robert Melton (1905 – 1977).

Over the years Raymond worked in a sawmill, a furniture factory, a Ford plant, and Radford Arsenal. He also served in the Army during World War II. After WWII, he played in various local bluegrass bands.

Ralph Lee Smith wrote in pages 68-69 of Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions that Raymond "was one of Virginia's and the world's greatest traditional players" and that he was "the terror of dulcimer contests, filling his living room with ribbons and trophies." Over the years at the Old Fiddlers' Convention in Galax, Virginia alone he won first place in the dulcimer competitions in 1937, maybe 1938, 1939, 1940, and 1975. He took second place in 1941, 1974, and 1985.

Though Raymond grew up playing dulcimers Ralph Lee Smith states in his book, Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions, that Raymond probably started making dulcimers in the 1960s.
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Re: Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 18 October 1985

Postby dbennett » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:26 pm

Raymond Melton.jpg
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