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Life In the Carolina's Podcast

Jun 3, 2020

On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt. David has been collecting and performing mountain music for over 50 years and had the privilege of learning from old-time greats like Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and others in his early days as a musician.

David is the host of the current TV series David Holt’s State of Music. David has had many TV adventures over the years and in this conversation, he shares memories from his exciting journey. It is a role he does not take for granted: Since the early 70s, he understood that TV is a powerful tool to promote different forms of music, not just to existing fans, but to those who are yet to be exposed to them, particularly younger generations.

David shares his experience playing a musician near the end of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. He relates the evening he spent before taping his scene, shooting the breeze and singing old songs around a campfire with some of the cast and crew, including George Clooney himself. The following morning, David did his scene and ended the day wondering whether it would make it into the final cut at all. It did, and according to a call from a friend in Europe (which is where the movie was first released) David was billed “the village idiot”. It was an unforgettable day. David also shared a few stories about his guest appearances on the show Hee Haw from 1988-1991.

What started out as a simple love for mountain music gradually evolved into a sense of responsibility for preserving a piece of American history. David was able to study and play with the renowned musicians of yesterday and emerged from those experiences driven by a calling to spread his passion through as many avenues as he could for the rest of his professional life.

David has had the opportunity to play a variety of instruments in his time, some more exotic than others. He considers the mouth bow as one of the more unusual ones he has tried out. He also demonstrates his mastery of bones, an instrument which he fondly recalls his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather playing when he was just a little boy.

This episode is filled with stories about a TV personality and entertainer who has reached millions with this unique style of brining stories to life.