OK, Here’s a tune from our local area that was played in the OT jam led by Jason Phillips at Floyd Country Store on Sunday 2/18/18. It sometimes causes a stir with seasoned jammers since its name is Rachel and it is played in D. However, as many of you know, there’s another tune in D by that same name that is also known as Texas Quickstep. Totally different melody but a great tune in itself. This one, TOTW8, is rarely played even around here but sometimes makes an appearance with certain jam leaders. Like a lot of Kimble tunes, it’s got interesting phrasing in the melody – not a simple tune.

I’ve always liked this Rachel having heard it and learned it from a Kimble Family recording many years ago. They were from the Laurel Fork section of Carroll County near Floyd County. I just recently obtained this 1976 set of recordings from the Kimble Family ‘On the Air’ at WPAQ in 1976. Thanks, Kilby!

This rendition and mix is not the best but it is interesting in the radio show setting. Taylor on fiddle, Stella on banjo, Doris (son) on Autoharp, and Ivery (daughter) on guitar. Ivery announces the tune. Clyde Williams of Mt Airy Fiddlers’ Convention and WPAQ fame is heard speaking for the radio station at the beginning and the end.

Someone else please share another take of this tune either solo or by the family in a different setting. How about replying with that ‘Spinal Twist’ version, Kerry? I heard one interview where Taylor says he learned it from Wallace Spangler, a local fiddler from Meadows of Dan.

I never thought of it as a dance tune until I heard the Dry Hill Draggers put their high energy twist on it.

Now if you like it either way then try to learn it.


Rachel by the Kimble Family

Rachel by the Dry Hill Draggers

Reply from Clay Shelor

A little Wallace Spangler story:

Wallace Spangler is the fiddler that inspired my Grandfather (Jesse Shelor) and his generation of Meadows of Dan fiddlers to play the way they did. Grandad said that “Old Man Wallace” had a growth on the end of his nose that shook when he fiddled. Someone once asked him how his nose got so large. Wallace replied, “By keeping it out of other people’s business.”

Reply from Jason Phillips

I wanted to share some photos of the old Kimble’s Store for folks that may not get over to this way too much. It’s on Bell Spur Rd not far from the intersection with Squirrel Spur.

Reply from Gail Gillespie

Hi Mac! Here’s a recording of Taylor and Stella Kimble that Dwight and I made at their home in 74 or 75. We can’t recall which year or trip, because once we discovered blue ridge music, we made so many trips between 74 and 78! Whatever year it was, our memory is that we came across you flyfishing at Hurricane.

We had read about the Kimble family from the liner notes on a Fuzzy Mt. SB recording. The notes on the back of the LP mentioned that they played regularly at the Mabry Mill on weekends. On our next visit to the area, we headed straight to Mabry Mill. Taylor and Stella were not there, but the miller let us call them from the phone in the office.

It was a Sunday and though they’d just returned from church, they immediately invited us over to their house, just a few miles away. That visit was one of the most inspiring of our lives for many reasons, but the most important take-home lesson is that old-time music is for life. We were profoundly impressed that in their 80s they could play beautifully and intensely. Now that we enter our 7th decades ourselves, this is all the more inspirational. Time’s a-wasting!

Here’s one of their fiddle-banjo duets we recorded that day. We had a huge Sony cassette recorder and brought it in the house and kept it running the entire time we were there on that day, plus a couple of other visits the following year. We think this one would have been the summer of ’74.

Rachel by Taylor and Stella Kimble (1975)