The Ledford String Band was led by master fiddler Steve Ledford, who first found success as one of the most popular players of the 1930s. Ledford was born and raised in Bakersville, North Carolina, and won his first fiddling contest at age nine. He and his family began performing as a string-band at local one-room school houses in the Roan Mountain region. Eventually, they became known as the Carolina Ramblers Stringband and moved to New York in 1931, where they began playing on area radio. In 1932, they recorded 20 songs for the American Record Company, eight of which were released on labels such as Perfect, and Romeo. Ledford later returned to his home to marry and farm. A few years later, he teamed with Wade Mainer; while with Mainer's band, Ledford recorded his signature fiddle tune "Little Maggie." Through the early '40s, Ledford appeared regularly on a Roanoake radio station with Jay Hall and his brother Roy. He returned to farming in 1942; a few more years passed and Ledford formed a new incarnation of the Carolina Ramblers with his little brother Wayne and their relative James Gardner. They eventually called themselves the Ledford String Band, and in 1971 cut an album for Rounder. They also released a couple singles on the Roan Mountain label.