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Bert Layne

Fiddler Bert Layne may be the Arkansas traveller if there ever was a single, having crisscrossed the country as both a touring musician and a rambling teen boy. He’s frequently connected with fellow fiddler Clayon McMichen, and with a lot of reasons. Both married a set of sisters and had been thrilled that that they had not merely music but a musical instrument in keeping. Layne continued to be always a regular collaborator with McMichen, frequently appearing being a visitor in rings of his brother-in-law’s, such as for example McMichen’s Melody Guys or the Georgia Wildcats. Each of them also performed jointly in the Skillet Lickers, a well-known old-time group led by comedian and fiddler Gid Tanner. Although Layne’s dad was even more into dance than playing music, a great many other family members in the family members performed either fiddle or banjo, the last mentioned instrument much towards the detriment of the neighborhood feline human population. “…Each of them played banjo, and he utilized to kill everybody’s cat around there to obtain a hide for his banjo,” Layne recalled about his father and aunts within an interview with Margaret Riddle. Layne began playing fiddle at dances when he was a young child. Sometime around turning 16 he became popular from Arkansas and managed to get completely to Colorado, frequently hopping freights. He worked well in mines and drove groups of horses, among additional odd careers. By enough time he was 20 he wanted something a little more long term and finished up venturing out to California along with his sister and her spouse, then rambled back again east to Toledo, OH. He fulfilled McMichen for the very first time in 1925 and the partnership quickly resulted in some professional involvements. These different bands got lineups that appeared to change whenever a train taken in or out of city. By himself, Layne also piled-up many different credits, glowing not only like a fiddler but also controlling to function in a little bit of humor. He was known for an “Uncle Zeke” regular aswell as horsing around generally. This sort of stagecraft was frequently required of the fiddler, and Layne experienced it produced their careers harder as an viewers would not become satisfied simply hearing straight-ahead great fiddling. Besides McMichen, Layne used old-time music artists Lowe Stokes, Claude Davis, and Hoke Grain. This grouping lower some a lot more than two dozen edges for the Brunswick label in the past due ’20s. Layne also documented for Okeh, Gennett, Victor, and Columbia. The music “I REALLY LIKE You, I REALLY LIKE You” mixed he and McMichen with old-time tale Riley Puckett on acoustic guitar and vocal. Layne was included within the songwriting group behind classics such as for example “My Carolina House,” “Down on the Aged Ozark Path,” and “Within the Banks from the Aged Ohio.” McMichen, Layne, while others broadcast over WLW in Cincinnati in 1931, and following the previous ever-roving player became popular for Cleveland, Layne inaugurated his personal Bert Layne’s Mountaineer Fiddlers. A favorite feature of the group had been two kids who yodeled in tranquility. Layne developed the stage-name the Yodeling Twins for Garner Eckler and Rolin Gaines. Additional members of the group included Fishing rod McQueen, Arnal Stanley, and Johnny Barefield. Layne’s music group got a great deal of advantageous promotion and bookings through the Midwest and Western world. Like many rings of the period, the group highlighted a triple fiddle lineup in leading, with Payne generally playing business lead and others covering tranquility. But touring in an organization like this was barely a luxurious overdue. Bandmember Lowe Stokes appeared to have an especially tough period on tour. Stokes was shot at a bootlegging joint, stabbed close to the heart with a jealous sweetheart, and finally acquired his hands shot off at a Xmas party, which still didn’t end this fiddler’s profession. Strangely more than enough, Payne’s skill from his “directly job,” being a auto mechanic and engineer, emerged in helpful as he helped style a special connect that would enable Stokes to carry his bow! Payne afterwards teamed online backup with McMichen for the display at World’s Good in Chicago in 1933 and an area for the WLS Country wide Barn Dance that same yr. They both documented using the Skillet Lickers, and Payne also documented using the Georgia Wildcats, the McMichen/Layne String Orchestra. In his old age, Layne hardly ever really ceased fiddling. He retired, as they say, in Covington, KY, the city right over the river (and condition range) from Cincinnati that was typically a haven for occupants of that town seeking even more liberal liquor laws and regulations or legal remove night clubs. In his mid-eighties, he structured a reunion event including some broadcasts from the Arkansas stomping grounds of his start.

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