Will Davenport (1868-1950), father of CLYDE DAVENPORT, owned a farm of 250 acres, mostly wooded. He kept cows, mules, hogs, chickens, geese, tuckeys, and raised corn and hay. Among the many fiddle and banjo tunes Clyde learned from him were "Davy Dugger" and "Liza Jane." Clyde said that his father learned many of his tunes from a neighbor, Will Phipps, who was born in 1812.

I asked Clyde to tell me about his father. Here is what he said.

Clyde: He was a quiet fellow. He didn't laugh at jokes, he didn't laugh at nothing. He didn't tell them. And I've seen people come there and be setting on the porch and tell some of the funniest tales you ever heard in your life, and he's never crack a smile. He smoked a pipe, you know. Raised that old tobacco. God, it was strong and it was nearly black. And he'd smoke that all the time. And he'd sit there and look just so far as he could, and smoke that pipe, and them a-talking and laughing and telling tales and having a good time. He wouldn't tell nary and he wouldn't laugh. Didn't care about it. . . . Now his brothers was different from that. They were sort of funny kind of fellows, you know. But he wasn't. If you wanted to talk to him, you talked business. Something about something mattered some, he's sit and talk to you all day. But that foolishness, you didn't start it with him, he didn't have nothing to do with that.

Jeff: Was he a person who was interested in buying and selling a lot of things?

Clyde: No, he didn't buy and sell much. If he needed anything he'd buy it. If he didn't need it, he didn't buy it. And he wouldn't hardly sell anything at all. No, he wouldn't sell nothing. Let it die on him, mule or whatever. Now he'd sell cattle. And hogs.

A PHOTOGRAPH OF WILL DAVENPORT playing the fiddle shows a slender old man dressed in his Sunday clothes, seated on a chair, looking very solemn, propping his fiddle on his chest. A PHOTOGRAPH OF CLYDE'S PARENTS shows Will at a younger age.