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Stanley & Ray Hicks - Roving Gambler (1982)

Stanley Hicks and his first cousin Ray perform an old song called "Roving Gambler" (which Stanley calls "Roamin' Gambler"). Shot by Alan Lomax and crew at Stanley's home in Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, North Carolina, September 8-9, 1982. For more information about the American Patchwork filmwork, Alan Lomax, and his collections, visit

"Stanley Hicks: was living on Stone Mountain in Ashe County, close to Beech Mountain. A singer, story-teller and instrument maker (banjo and dulcimer), Stanley was a delight to be with. He had a side-line selling arrow-heads, which he found scattered around the mountain sides. One afternoon Stanley took me to Watauga Lake on a ‘flint hunt’. There were some large slabs of rock at the side of the water where the Native Americans had once sat making stone tools. We found a number of scrapers and arrow-heads and had a wonderful time together. I recorded Stanley playing both the dulcimer and the banjo. He had to borrow a banjo from a neighbour for our recording sessions, having just sold his own and not having yet built another. The dulcimer had once belonged to his father and held special memories. In her book American Banjo Echoes in Appalachia (1995), Cecelia Conway gives the following quote from Stanley:My daddy’s gone on; my grandpaw’s gone on; my great-grandpaw’s gone on. But they still live - you know, the spirit’s still here. Your folks can die and go on, but they’re still here. I don’t know whether you ever thought about it like that or not, but I can show you. Here is my Daddy’s dulcimer. That’s his dulcimer he built years ago; it still lives, it’s still here. You see, hit’s still here, it’s not gone. And same way by myself - when I’m gone, there’s some of my stuff that the young ‘uns ... you know, it still lives.And, of course, Stanley still lives, through his recordings."

Ray Hicks (1922-2003) was a renowned Appalachian storyteller, who lived his entire life on Beech Mountain, North Carolina. He was particularly known for the telling of Jack Tales.

In 1983 he was made a National Heritage Fellow.

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Added: Nov-10-2011 
By: Willem1980
Tags: Stanley, Ray, Hicks, Roving Gambler, Appalachian, 1982
Views: 1602 | Comments: 1 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • That is just so fucking cool, when Britons history walked out the door it was scattered to the four winds, the music seems to have landed in the Appalachians. You can hear bluegrass in this, the roots of country folk and blues.

    Posted Nov-10-2011 By 

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