Dwight Diller

West Virginia Mountain Musician


In stock

About the Book

Dwight Hamilton Diller is a musician from West Virginia devoted to traditional Appalachian fiddle and banjo music, and a seminary-trained minister steeped in local Christian traditions. For the past 40 years, he has worked to preserve archaic fiddle and banjo tunes, teaching his percussive, primitively rhythmic style to small groups in marathon banjo workshops. This book tells of Diller’s life and music, his personal challenges and his decades of teaching an elusive musical form.

About the Author(s)

Clawhammer banjo player Lewis M. Stern has written about traditional musicians including Dwight Diller, Tommy Malbeouf, and Jim Scancarelli. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Lewis M. Stern

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 45 photos, discography, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6476-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2531-7
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
One. Early Life 15
Two. Learning Music 35
Three. Playing Music 58
Four. Studying Religion 85
Five. A Life of Teaching 102
Conclusion 128
Discography and Filmography 153
Chapter Notes 159
Bibliography 188
Interviewees 196
Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A wealth of information on country music’s commercial and grassroots aspects”—The Journal of Southern History
  • “An impressive biography…Lew has given us quite deep and interesting view of Dwight. The book is a commendable volume and well worth the read”—Banjo Newsletter
  • “This book is a ‘must’ for any student of Dwight’s camps or workshops, or, indeed, anyone who wishes to learn about this enigmatic character, his background and the context to his music, his teaching and his life by getting to know Dwight in a readable way…meticulously researched…the reader gets an excellent insight into Dwight’s background and influences… extremely well written”—Old Time News