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Arts & Performance

World-Renowned WNC Banjo Picker Dies At 80

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Garret K. Woodward
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Haywood County’s Raymond Fairchild was an elder statesman of mountain music.";

Noted banjo picker and Western North Carolina native Raymond Fairchild has died, following a heart attack.  He was 80. Fairchild performed at the Grand Ole’ Opry on numerous occasions and was inducted into Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2015.  Last month, Fairchild appeared in BPR’s “Exploring Southern Appalachia” series.   

Fairchild’s final arrangements haven’t yet been announced.  In addition to his storied banjo career, he and his wife Shirley ran the Maggie Valley Opry for more than 30  years.                                                      

Musician  and BPR music host Wayne Erbsen  wrote a wonderful article chronicling Fairchild’s life and musical journey back in 1982.  You can read it here