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Henry McNeal, banjo player from Staunton, VA - anyone hear of him?

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Mar 14, 2020 - 3:09:05 AM
3402 posts since 1/2/2004

Anyone out there ever hear the name of Henry McNeal, a banjo player who, when he was brought to my attention five years ago (when he was 84 years old) lived in Staunton, VA.?

I never got to meet him. A fiddler I played with from time to time knew him and told me that McNeal and a couple of friends started The Barn in Staunton in the early 1990s. The fiddler friend said that McNeal purchased his first banjo in Staunton in 1946, and still played it through at least 2015.

I believe his brother, William Franklin, passed away at the age of 88 in 2016. That part of the family were members of the Church of the Brethren.

Just wondering . . .

Mar 14, 2020 - 7:00:01 AM
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R Buck


2759 posts since 9/5/2006

There are lots of players like that out there. A fiddler named Marcus King lived near me and I never knew it. I met two people who knew him, both banjo players. One had even bought a banjo from him. It was a Gibson Mastertone, maybe, as so many of those Gibsons end up being parts banjos. I fixed the first guy's banjo and taught the second guy. Found King road that this mysterious fiddler once lived on but learned he had passed before I found him. Good luck with your search.

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