In Memory of Bill Emerson, 1938 – 2021

I only met Bill Emerson a couple of times up in Nashville, but those brief times were lasting memories for me. Although I am self-taught on all the instruments I play, only in my later years did I look to others to advance my skills both as a musician and a teacher. Bill was there as was his practice throughout life, to offer instruction to so many banjo players, including me. He recently passed away.

Although I don’t usually get folks to sign my instruments, because my banjo is a Bill Emerson model Stelling Red Fox, I decided to get him to sign the banjo head one year at Nashcamp. He played a song or two on my banjo before signing it, I guess that only makes sense. I believe it was Theme Time, and a bit of Fox on the Run, if I recall correctly, both tunes for which he was well-known. Notice too, his signature on the banjo head is like the one in-layed on the 19th fret.

Farewell, my friend! You are remembered and missed. I will always remember your sage advise!

About Pgibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Software Engineer and part-time banjo instructor. My wife Miiko and I worship at Rivertree Downtown. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin and dulcimer at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play and teach Scruggs, melodic, clawhammer, and 2-finger styles. I'm also very keen on theology, being a Trail Care Partner with the Land Trust of North Alabama, photography, urban planning, architecture, astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, martial arts, and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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2 Responses to In Memory of Bill Emerson, 1938 – 2021

  1. Roadtirement says:

    A poignant memorial, Phill. Well said, sir.

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