Music of Appalachia Collection


Rock Dust


Morgan Sexton

Document Type

Audio Recording

Publication Date



Morgan Sexton was born in southeast Kentucky in 1911. He grew up on Linefork in a musical family. His father and sister taught him to play the banjo. He worked most of his life in the coal mines, retiring at the age of 77. It was only then that he started playing the banjo professionally.

Following his debut in 1988 he started to receive national attention. He performed at festivals, taught banjo workshops, and recorded a small body of traditional ballads and tunes. His first recording, Rock Dust, was recorded at June Appal, the Appalshops recording label, in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

Sexton was presented with a National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to regional traditions. He was known for playing the banjo using the two-finger picking style. His voice and banjo playing complemented each other masterfully.