Black Prairie

Larry Armstrong

Born on a small Tennessee farm in 1923, Larry Armstrong soon looked for a way to get out from behind his father’s mule and embarked on a life that has taken him all over the world. His experiences included running off to join the circus at a young age, spending time on the southern railroads […]

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Larry Wallace

Starkville resident Larry Wallace is one of the nation’s top bluegrass banjo players and has been active for over thirty years. He was born in 1961 in McCall Creek (west of Brookhaven) in Franklin County and grew up listening to the fiddle playing of his maternal grandfather, Lewis Rushing. According to Wallace, Rushing was one

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Mack Banks

Mack Elmore Banks was born on September 17, 1934, in Jasper, Alabama, and moved with his family to Columbus, Mississippi when he was six months old. The family lived for a while in the Hogeye community in Noxubee County, where his father worked as a sharecropper, and later settled in Artesia when Mack was in

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Bessie Johnson

Bessie Johnson is a native of the Tibbee community just south of West Point. Both of her parents were active in traditional crafts. Her father wove chair bottoms and baskets and her mother quilted. Johnson was fascinated with their work and began making baskets herself over thirty years ago. She creates them using a variety

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Colby Horton

Colby Horton has always loved music and finds building fine guitars very satisfying. He lives in Tiplersville, a tiny town in far northern Mississippi. He was born in nearby Ripley, where his father (whose family is from this immediate area) has a small veterinary hospital. His mother also helps out at the clinic now that

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