Old-timey string musician Benton Flippen was raised on a farm in North Carolina, where he first played the banjo during his childhood. During his youth he turned to the fiddle and started playing with the area's noted bands and musicians, among them the Camp Creek Boys, Green Valley Boys led by Glenn McPeak, Esker Hutchins, and Leak Caudill. From the 1970s on, Flippen belonged to the Smokey Valley Boys, an outfit that has preserved Flippen's unique musical abilities on recordings. The band also earned awards at numerous fiddling competitions. In 1990, the North Carolina Folk Heritage Awards honored Flippen, who is recognized for a unique style of string fingering. Flippen also composes and presides over workshops.