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Troy Harrison
Photos courtesy of Cedric N. Chatterley

Troy Harrison

Banjo and guitar player Madison County

Troy Harrison says that when he was a student at Madison High School in Marshall, he attended a class in string music to get out of having to take typing. “That’s the whole reason I’m in music.” Harrison is a native of Madison County, and he believes one of his aunts was the source for Bascom Lunsford‘s chosen version of “Little Margret,” which has spread far and wide through the folk music world. According to family legend, his aunt, nine years old at the time, received either twenty-five or fifty cents for her song. Despite this musical heritage, it took a class at school and the influence of teacher Becky Hanks to inspire Harrison to become a musician. Today Harrison is a wonderful banjo and guitar player, carrying on the traditions of his family and community.

Troy Harrison took banjo lessons with Madison County legend Obray Ramsey. Ramsey was his primary teacher, and from him Harrison learned a three-finger style that he describes as, “a cross between bluegrass and oldtime—it’s just North Carolina.” He also learned to play the guitar, from Floyd Waldrop and from David Shelton of Shelton Laurel.

Today Troy Harrison plays oldtime and gospel music, and performs as a trio with Laura and Hannah Dowden.


Troy Harrison plays concerts and other programs both solo and with the Dowden Sisters.

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