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.