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Lee Sexton

A master of the drop-thumb banjo style (and not too shabby at two-finger picking, either), Lee Sexton has lived his whole life near his birthplace in Letcher County, KY. Born in 1927, he acquired his first banjo, a homemade wooden fretless model with a groundhog skin head, for a dollar when he was eight years old (he worked to clear a field for a week to earn that dollar), and with instruction from his father and uncles (one of whom was the unique and sublime banjo player Morgan Sexton), Sexton soon mastered the instrument, and the fiddle, as well. As a young man he would work all week in the mines and then play music all weekend at house parties, bean stringings, and corn shuckings. June Appal issued an LP of traditional material, Whoa Mule, in 1988, and an expanded CD version in 2004 with an additional 40 minutes of music. One of the most respected and revered folk musicians in eastern Kentucky, Sexton garnered a brief scene in the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter, where he appears playing at a square dance. In 1999 he was presented with the Kentucky Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. ~ Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Classic Banjo From Smithsonian Folkways

101. Fly Around My Blue-Eyed Girl / Cripple Creek / Ida Red / Old Joe Clark

102. Banging Breakdown

103. Johnson Boys

104. Peachbottom Creek

105. Coo Coo

106. Josh Thomas's Roustabout

107. Jaw Bone

108. Bright Sunny South

109. Coal Creek March

110. Mississippi Heavy Water Blues

111. Walk Light Ladies

112. Buck Creek Girls

114. Skylark / Roaring Mary

116. Smokey Mokes

118. Banjoland

119. Sally Ann

120. Lonesome Road Blues

121. Fox Chase

122. Hop Along Lou

123. Cotton Eyed Joe

124. Foggy Mountain Top

125. Rambling Hobo

126. Old Rattler

127. Georgia Buck

129. Black Eye Susie

130. Bluegrass Breakdown

x

Track List: Classic Old-Time Music From Smithsonian Folkways

1. Sugar Hill

2. Bill Morgan And His Gal (My Name Is Morgan But It Ain't J.P.)

3. Country Blues

4. Little Sadie

5. Susannah Gal

6. Wednesday Night Waltz

7. Cyclone Of Rye Cove

8. I'm Leaving You This Lonesome Song

9. Carroll County Blues

10. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down

11. Trouble In Mind

12. Chilly Winds

13. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

14. Pretty Polly

15. Bonaparte's Retreat

16. Concord Rag

17. John Henry

18. Bowling Green

19. Fine Times In Our House

20. Streets Of Glory

21. Policeman

22. Love Somebody (Soldier's Joy)

23. House Of David Blues

24. Ship In The Clouds

25. Late Last Night

26. Look Down That Lonesome Road

27. Down Yonder

28. Jaybird March

29. John Brown's Dream

x

Track List: Mountain Music Of Kentucky

Disc 1

1. Old Age Pension Blues

2. Hook And Line

3. John Henry

4. Pretty Polly

5. Old Reuben

6. Spring Of '65

7. Sally In The Garden

8. Barbara Allen

9. When We Shall Meet

10. Amazing Grace

11. Across The Rocky Mountain

12. Graveyard Blues

13. Cripple Creek

14. True Love

15. Sally In The Garden

16. Lost Indian

17. Hollow Poplar

18. The Death Of The Blue Eagle

19. Little Birdie

20. Lost Indian

21. Jaw Bone

22. Bunker's Hill

23. Cacklin' Hen

24. Julie Ann

25. Born In Old Kentucky

26. Buck Creek Girls

27. Sweet Willie

28. Cluck Old Hen

29. Coney Island (Coney Isle)

30. Baby Let Your Hair Roll Down

31. Wayfaring Stranger

32. Stingy Woman

Disc 2

1. East Virginia

2. Single Girl

3. Black Eyed Suzy

4. Hills Of Mexico

5. Foreign Lander

6. Kitty Alone

7. Young And Tender Ladies

16. Wagoner's Lad

17. The Absentee

18. The Coo-Coo (Coo-Coo Bird)

19. Marthis Campbell

20. Sally Goodin'

21. Fiddler A Dram

22. Fox Chase

23. Old Joe Clark

24. Fire On The Mountain

25. Ways Of The World

26. Inch Along

27. Skip To My Lou

28. St. Louis Blues

29. Pretty Polly

30. Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

31. Fox Chase

32. Ruby

33. No Letter In The Mail

34. Pretty Fair Miss In The Garden

35. John Henry

36. Rocky Island

x

Track List: Searching For The Wrong-Eyed Jesus

2. Still Waters

3. My Sister's Tiny Hands

4. Crossbones Style

5. Last Kind Deal

6. The Wound That Never Heals

7. Wayfaring Stranger

9. Black Soul Choir

10. Little Maggie

12. Coo Coo Bird

14. Christmas Day

15. Essential Truth

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