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Whoa Mule
Raymond Fairchild

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About the video

Banjo player, Raymond Fairchild, is accompanied on this banjo instrumental by
the Crowe Brothers.

About the artist

5 March 1939, Cherokee, North Carolina, USA. Raymond Fairchild, who is of
Cherokee Indian extraction, first played guitar but in the late 50s, greatly
impressed by the playing of an aunt, he decided to specialize in banjo. He first
recorded for Sim around 1963 but in 1965, with his Maggie Valley Boys, he
recorded several instrumental albums for Uncle Jim O'Neal's popular Rural
Rhythm label. Some gained release at varying dates but by 1976, his releases
and reissues were attracting a great deal of attention. He quickly built his
reputation and amazed his audiences by his playing, not only in his own Maggie
Valley locale but also at various major bluegrass and folk festivals. Between
1975 and 1990, he worked with Wayne and Wallace Crowe, who played guitar
and bass and added vocals. The trio became very popular around the bluegrass
circuit and recorded albums for Skyline and Atteiram. He then re-formed his
Maggie Valley Boys, which included his son Zane on lead guitar and Wallace
Crowe's son, Shane, on bass. In 1989, he recorded with Ralph Stanley, singing
for the first time and in 1990, he recorded with Chubby Wise. He is noted for his
deadpan expressions, even while executing his most speedy instrumental breaks
and also for his humorous anecdotes, such as his hints on how to keep
rattlesnakes as household pets. He continued to play into the 90s and his talents
have seen him fondly dubbed The King of the Smoky Mountain Banjo Players.