The Old-Time Herald Volume 11, Number 9

Feature
The Stone Family Musical Heritage
By John and Gwenn Noftsger
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Elza Stone and his sons as the Happy Hollow Entertainers; from left, Sid, Howard, James, and Elza..

In Mark Wilson’s notes for Rounder’s Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky: Up the Licking and Ohio Rivers,he mentions “Elzie Stone and his large family of musicians from Mt. Sterling,” and also states that George Lee Hawkins had learned “Brickyard Joe” from the well-known Mt. Sterling fiddler Sid Stone.  Rich Nevins, in his notes for Morning Star’s Old Time Fiddle Band Music from Kentucky, indicates that Doc Roberts learned “New Money” from Elzie Stone of Mt. Sterling at a fiddle contest.

Who were these Stone musicians?  If you have not conducted extensive research on the subject of Kentucky fiddlers, have never lived near the northern reaches of Kentucky’s Daniel Boone Forest, or are not related to the Stone family, you are probably not aware of the contributions of Elzie Stone and his musical offspring to the art and continuation of traditional Kentucky music.  None of them ever made commercial recordings of the type that have been reissued in recent years for current audiences, and by the time collectors were making field recording trips into their area, many of the Stone family were gone and others were beyond their musical prime. For many years, though, they did make music in and around their home counties of Bath and Montgomery, even venturing further out on occasion.

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