Late Sen. Robert Byrd’s 1978 Mountain Fiddler Album Reissued

County Records has re-released the 1978 album, U. S. Senator Robert Byrd Mountain Fiddler. The longest-serving senator in U. S. history, Byrd, who represented West Virginia, died June 28 at the age of 92. Fiddling had been an important part of Byrd’s life (and ultimately of his political campaigns) since he got his first fiddle when he was 10. Barry Poss, who would later found Sugar Hill Records, produced the 14-song album, using backup musicians Doyle Lawson and James Bailey, then of the Country Gentlemen, and bassist Spider Gilliam. It generated enough publicity to earn Byrd appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw. The album includes traditional songs such as “Turkey in the Straw,” “Cripple Creek” and “Old Joe Clark.”