The Old-Time Herald Volume 11, Number 12

Kasper "Stranger" Malone (1909-2005): In His Own Words
By Burgin Mathews
Stranger Malone at the 2000 Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs, NC. Photo by Cedric N. Chatterley.

Kasper "Stranger" Malone left his Kentucky home at fifteen—"in search," he would later say, "of music"—and the search begun young would consume the rest of his long life. Wherever there was music he was content—for a time, at least, until his wanderlust pulled him in a new direction. Soon after his death in 2005, the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged Malone for the longest working career as a recording artist, a career which began in 1926 at a recording date with Clayton McMichen's Melody Men. Late in life, Malone had returned to the studio, sitting in with his friend Elise Witt for a 2003 recording. The recorded output, however, only offers a glimpse into Stranger Malone's performance history, which encompassed work in old-time string bands, swinging big bands, and symphony orchestras. Malone's world embraced and effortlessly connected diverse strands of music, recognizing none of our era's need to separate styles into restrictive genre labels. Malone's only concern was immersion in music.


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