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Uncle Dave Macon
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    (October 7, 1870-March 22, 1952)
    Born in Smartt Station, Tennessee
    Singer, banjo player and comedian
    Performed the songs 'Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy,' 'The Arkansas Traveler,' 'A Soldier's Joy,' 'Bully of the Town,' 'Sail Away, Ladies,' Buddy Won't You Roll Down the Line,' 'Take Me Back to My Carolina Home,' 'From Earth to Heaven' and 'How Beautiful Heaven Must Be'
    Staple of the original Grand Ole Opry (1925-52)
    Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1966)
    He was nicknamed 'the Dixie Dewdrop.'
    He called his band the Fruit Jar Drinkers except when he recorded gospel numbers, when the band would be temporarily renamed the Dixie Sacred Singers.
    While touring, he would bring along a ham he had cured himself, take it into a restaurant and ask the waitress to have the cook cut off a couple of slices and fry them up with some eggs.
    He would kick, stomp and shout while performing, taxing the skills of the engineers controlling the volume at the Opry.
    He first began performing music professionally at age 50, after the arrival of an automobile-based competitor forced him to close his Macon Midway Mule and Mitchell Wagon Transportation Company.
    He was an energetic live performer who could play the banjo over his head, behind his back and between his legs without missing a note.
    When touring with DeFord Bailey, the first black member of the Opry, he would refuse to stay in hotels that did not accept Bailey.
    The pallbearers at his funeral included country greats Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe and Opry founder George D. Hay.
    Music historian Charles Wolfe wrote, 'If people call Jimmie Rodgers the father of country music, then Uncle Dave must certainly be the grandfather of country music.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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