SFR-102 Billy Womack in Retrospect Down at the Barbershop
Middle Tennessee Arts

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"For several decades, Billy Womack represented the epitome of fine fiddling in the southern region of Middle Tennessee. Rooted in old-time traditons but drawn into bluegrass, Womack played constantly and widely, yet he prefered his homebase at the barber shop in Woodbury to any prospects of a real professional career.

This CD retrospective, thoughtfully compiled from informal tapes and grassroots studio recordings that happened to capture his playing, serves up a audio scrapbook on Cannon County's favorite local musician.  Considering the research and production challenges it faced, this project is not only a great sampler of Billy Womack's repertory and genius, but also a inspiring model for comparable postumous tributes to other musicians worthy of a lasting audio memory."

                                       

                                                Dr. Robert Cogswell, Tennessee Arts Commission 

Billy Womack CD

SFR-102

Billy Womack in Retrospect-Down at the Barbershop

Billy Womack, a lifelong Cannon County resident, was born in Sycamore Creek, twelve miles to the north of Woodbury, on October 22, 1922. His parents, Joe Bob Womack, a former teacher, and Elizabeth Higgins Womack owned a grocery in downtown Woodbury, in a stone building that still stands on East Main Street today. Billy taught himself the art of barbering and opened the barbershop beside his parent's store. Billy could have easily become a professional musician but chose to remain close to his home and his family. He wanted to be a fiddling barber, not a barbering fiddler. Billy shunned what he called the professional lifestyle because he was a homebody and didn't want to get mixed up in the fast paced living that fueled many touring musicians. He was extremely proud that the pickers in his barbershop never touched a drop of alcohol or took any drugs before they walked through the doors. Anyway playing professionally couldn't make you a lot of money, it could only give you a name.

 

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