BRISTOL, Tenn. - The Birthplace of Country Music Museum has had some distinguished visitors since it first opened two weeks ago, but it's not always the famous that get our attention.
Who caught our eye and ear Thursday is a 93-year-old fiddler who's been around and playing almost since those famous sessions back in 1927. He came to the museum Thursday for a look around and the play a little bit.
Joe Good was just six years old when the Bristol Sessions happened. At age seven, he picked up the fiddle and taught himself to play. "They wasn't giving lesson back then. So what you learned, you had to drag it out of the bushes what you learned," he laughed.
He's learned quite a bit since then, and he witnessed all of the musical history that's on display at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
'Lighting Joe', as they call him, got a personal tour of the new museum, recalling all of his memories about all the music and all of the places he's played in his lifetime. "We played at schoolhouses in the late 1930s, maybe in the 1940s, but we didn't make but about a dollar or so so a piece, about a dollar and a half. Of course, that was pretty good money back then," Joe told us.
But he's played with many of the great regional musicians, and as he tells it everybody around his home in Scott County. "I played with, well, everybody in Scott County that made music around. I played with them over the years," he said.
He and his band Home Folks were featured quite a bit over the 20 years the band played the Carter Fold, Farm and Fun Time and every radio show that featured old-time music.
That history makes his visit to the museum so special, plus seeing a picture in a display of himself was a proud moment. He signed a special wall at the end of the tour with a simple "Joe Good was here".
He's been here for a long time, and still learning after all these years. "Yeah, still learning. That's right, you never do learn it all. You can just keep learning," Joe says.
And teach us all with his playing and his memories, a walking, talking, fiddling, piece of history.
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