Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25-26 October 1935

A dose of mountain dulcimer history throughout the year

Today In Mountain Dulcimer History: 25-26 October 1935

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

Ruth Melton (1917-1980) took first place in the dulcimer contest at the second “Old Fiddlers’ Convention” in Galax, Virginia (Ruth had also won first place at the first “Old Fiddler’s Convention” held in April that same year).

The Galax Post Herald of October 31, 1935 had the following account of the second Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention: “Loyal Order of Moose and the Galax Parent-Teachers Assn. sponsored the most successful musical gathering ever held in this section, at the Galax High School Auditorium last Friday and Saturday nights. The auditorium was packed both nights with a total of over 1,300 admissions... An elimination test of the 146 musicians entered comprised the Friday program. Many more were registered but for various reasons were unable to attend. Sixty-four were eliminated and on Saturday night the remaining 72 contested for the $110 in prizes offered... Dr. W. P. Davis conducted the dulcimer and folk song contests, giving an interesting history of the dulcimer, the oldest of the present musical instruments. He also gave a history of each of the various folk songs used... Dulcimer Contest Winners were: 1st place Mrs. Ruth Melton, Galax, Va., Ebenezer; 2nd place Mrs. Tina Melton, Galax, Va., Walking in My Sleep”.

The stated purpose of the convention was, “to keep alive and perpetuate the old times, and traditions of the country and mountain music, native to our section of the country.”
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