Music of Appalachia Collection


Puncheon Camps


Clyde Davenport

Document Type

Audio Recording

Publication Date



Clyde Davenport is an old-time fiddler and banjo player from Monticello, Kentucky. He is a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship. When he was 9, Davenport made his own fiddle from barn boards, using hair from his family's mule for bowstrings. At 11, he took the iron band off a small wagon wheel, trimmed out a green hickory hoop, bolted the ends together with a slat and set it up to season. He paid a dime for a groundhog hide, attached it to the frame with carpet tacks, carved out a long hickory neck and had his first banjo, which he taught himself to play.

In his musical memory he kept more than 200 fiddle tunes, many of which are rare tunes learned from his father, grandfather and fiddling neighbors of earlier generations.