Fiddling Burk Barbour

b. 20 July 1910, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, USA. Like several other early fiddlers, Barbour began his career when a child and was winning awards at the age of 12. In the mid-30s, with his band Southern…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography

b. 20 July 1910, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, USA. Like several other early fiddlers, Barbour began his career when a child and was winning awards at the age of 12. In the mid-30s, with his band Southern Serenaders, he played various radio stations, including WJJD Chicago, where he also recorded transcriptions as the Hired Hands. Between 1944 and 1946, he worked with Molly O’Day And The Cumberland Mountain Folks at Beckley, Dallas and Knoxville, as a stand-in for Skeets Williamson who had been drafted for war service. When Williamson returned, O’Day still retained Barbour, having decided to feature a twin fiddle band sound. He eventually left O’Day and with Jim Eanes, he formed the Blue Mountain Boys. They played at WBOB Galax and WNOX Knoxville, and recorded 32 tracks for the National Record Company of New York, although only one has ever been released. During the 40s, he also played on recording sessions with the Carlisles. Splitting with Eanes, he worked with the Lilly Brothers and Lonnie Glosson in his band the Smiling Mountain Boys at WNOX, and in the late 40s, he worked for a time with Homer And Jethro and Archie Campbell. By 1950, he had become tired of travelling and relocated to Lynchburg, where he found work outside of music. He was persuaded to resume playing in the 70s and recorded albums for Kanawa and Princess. He also recorded on Dominion with banjoist Troy Brammer. During the mid-80s, he was playing fiddle on WLVA-TV and appearing with a band called the Old Timers.