On Sunday October 21st, at 2pm the Blue Ridge Music Center will have its last Fall Heritage Series performance-talk celebrating the life and music of Galax fiddler, Emmett Lundy (1864 to 1953). Musicians: Kirk Sutphin, Snake Smith and Richard Smith will be participating along with T.J. Lundy – a fiddler and direct descendant of Emmett Lundy. The tribute will include stories of Emmett’s life by those who knew him and the music he was known for.
Fiddler, Emmett Lundy was born in Grayson County, Virginia in 1864 and stayed in the area his whole life. Family records show the Lundys emigrated from England in 1687. Emmett started fiddling in his late teens, and his primary influence was “Old man Green Leonard.” Greenberry Leonard (1810-1892) lived in Old Town, just a few miles north of the Lundy home place. Although he was never recorded, Emmett and others declared Leonard as the best fiddler in the region. The older musician didn’t like to share his tunes but Lundy “caught” them anyway by hanging around Greenberry Leonard as much as he could.
Although Emmett Lundy is reputed to have won the first gold piece ever presented at a Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention (in the 1920’s), he played music primarily for his own entertainment and the enjoyment of those around him. Often he would play at night following supper, carrying on this practice even when he was very old. Lundy was primarily a farmer, but helped support his large family of 14 by blacksmithing, repairing watches, wood working, raising sheep, and pulling teeth.
In August of 1941 Elizabeth Lomax interviewed and recorded Lundy for the Archive of Folk Song, Library of Congress. The recording shows Lundy’s refined technique and older style of fiddling traceable through Lundy’s association with Green Leonard back to the early 1800s.
The Tribute to Galax Fiddler Emmett Lundy performance-talk takes place Sunday, October 21st at 2pm – the last of a three-part series. These Fall Heritage Series events are held in the Blue Ridge Music Center indoor theater. Since seating is limited, reservations are recommended.
For info or to reserve seats please call (276) 236-5309 x112 or www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Open 7 days a week 9am-5pm through October 28th. Mid-Day Mountain Music 12-4pm daily. Free. Roots of American Music Museum: 9am-5pm daily. Free. The Fall Heritage Series performance-talks are made possible with generous support from Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway.