Raymond Fairchild (born March 15, 1944) is an American banjo player from the Great Smoky Mountains. He is known for his fast playing, his fancy and intricate picking and his ability of making the banjo mimic both animals and humans.
Fairchild was born in Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina and learned music, from an early age, from his mother's side of the family. His musical influences also included Earl Scruggs, and Don Reno. When he was young he played for tips at a tourist stop in Maggie Valley. The owner of the tourist stop, Ted Sutton, taught young Fairchild about show-business. When Fairchild wasn't performing he worked as a stonemason. In the mid 1960s, he formed the Frosty Mountain Boys but soon changed the name to the Maggie Valley Boys.
In 1963, Fairchild was signed by Uncle Jim O'Neal to record for the Rural Rhythm label. In the early 1970s, He made a successful performance on the Grand Ole Opry at WSM in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1975, he met the Crowe Brothers, (Wallace Crowe, and Wayne Crowe) and together they formed a trio. The bluegrass trio lasted until 1991 when Fairchild formed the New Maggie Valley Boys with his son Zane Fairchild.
Fairchild has won five awards as a champion banjo player and has scored two gold records. He has his own line of banjos, the Cox/Faichild banjo. Since he is reluctant to leave his home district he is mostly seen at the Maggie Valley Opry House.
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