Music in the Air Somewhere


from “Music in the Air Somewhere,” by Erynn Marshall:

Due to Melvin [Wine’s] growing spiritual beliefs, and his unhappiness over the amount of drinking and fighting that took place at square dances, he stopped playing fiddle for more than twenty years.

“Things I once done I didn’t want to do no more…I did not want to get back into square dances and I just quit. I thought I’d seen people killed there, I’d seen people just fall off their feet dead at the square dances and things like that..”

In the late 1950s, Melvin began playing music again.  This change in attitude came about when he and Etta found themselves having to look after their ten-day-old granddaughter…The baby started to cry and he couldn’t get her to stop.  Eventually, he pulled out his fiddle and started to play for her.  Kelly stopped crying at the sound of the music, and Melvin decided that playing the fiddle must be a gift rather than a sin and resumed playing it.

Melvin Wine (1909-2003) remains one of the most recorded, documented, and respected fiddler in West Virginia.  [He] was awarded the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation.

He made three solo recordings: Cold Frosty Morning, Hannah at the Springhouse, and Vintage Wine.


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