Uncle Dave Macon (1870-1952) was the first star of the Grand Ole Opry. He is considered the ultimate bridge between the 19th century folk and vaudeville music that Macon performed in person and the 20th century country music performed on records - in his case beginning with New York City sessions in 1924 - and radio. Macon’s first radio show was aired in 1925 by WSM in Nashville. He performed at the Ryman Auditorium that same year. The first scholar of country music, Charles Wolfe, called him “the grandfather of country music.” Macon was born in Warren County, Tennessee, the son of a Captain in the Confederate Army. At the age of 13 his family moved to Nashville where his father ran a hotel and young David learned to play the banjo from traveling musicians. Two years later, his father was murdered, and his mother moved the family to Cannon County, Tennessee. "Providing deep insights into Uncle Dave Macon, his family, and his music, this important biography traces the life of a pioneering American musician whose career spanned vaudeville, radio, recording, and film. Essential reading for anyone interested in American entertainment."--John W. Rumble. “Drawing skillfully on historical research and family lore, Doubler reveals the many sides of Uncle Dave Macon—performer, recording artist, star of the Grand Ole Opry, mentor, husband, and father. This is an affectionate and absorbing account of a profoundly important early country musician.” – Tony Russell. The author is the great-grandson of Uncle Dave Macon. This is his third book.
Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 2018. 260 pages with a Song Index, General Index, Bibliography, Notes, Appendices, and photos. Trade paperback