The fall 2010 issue of Goldenseal, a magazine devoted to West Virginia traditions, is a Festschrift for the late senator Robert C. Byrd—as a fiddle player! Festschriften that celebrate politicians are fairly unusual, but it is even rarer for a Festschrift to honor a traditional musician.
Byrd learned traditional fiddling and singing when he was growing up in the mountains of Appalachia. He deployed his talents strategically in his early political campaigns, when he was known as “Fiddlin’ ”. He also performed for the Grand Ole Opry, and recorded an album that has recently been re-released by County Records.