Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Juanita McMichen Lynch


Juanita McMichen Lynch was born in 1924 and is the eldest of two daughters born to Clayton McMichen and Daisy Satterfield McMichen. Junaita, pictured holding Clayton's fiddle, lives near Battletown, KY with her husband Clifford Lynch and their little dog.

Daisy Satterfield (Mac's wife) was Aline Satterfield's sister. On Sept. 17, 1920 fiddler Bert Monroe Layne married Aline Satterfield. "Uncle Bert and Daddy used to play together all the time," said Juanita. "Now Aline Satterfield, his wife, we called her Aunt Dooley. We'd have big dinners over at the house for all the musicians and Aunt Dooley would cook." Bert Layne, known as "Uncle Bert" to Juanita and others, was born Dec. 14, 1889 in Arkansas and died 0ct. 22, 1982 at Juanita's homestead in Battletown, Kentucky.

I interviewed Junaita several times for my upcoming article on Clayton in the Old-Time Herald. She and her husband Clifford were very helpful. Giving me access to boxes and boxes of Clayton's newspaper clippings and articles. I even has some of her manuscript that she started writing about her famous father. Clayton was recently proclaimed fiddler-of-the-century by National Traditional Country Music Association. Even though Clayton was a great fiddler, the award is a little over the top. He's certainly one of the top old-time fiddlers of all time.

I became interested me in Clayton when I moved to Louisville, a stone's throw from the bar Mac owned in the 1940s. Mac moved to Louisville more or less permanently around fall of 1937. He lived in Louisville until around 1968 when he moved to Battletown KY. Mac died in 1970. Juanita, who has lots stories about her dad and his friends, graduated from High School in Louisville in 1942.

"Daddy married my mother, who was Aunt Dooley's sister, when she was just 16 years old." Now Bert Layne was Mac's brother-in-law. Mac and Daisy had two daughters, Daisy "Jaunita," born Dec. 24, 1924 and Nina "June," born Jan. 31, 1926.

Because of Mac's restless nature and his search for new radio positions the McMichen's moved frequently. "I was daddy's little girl," said Juanita. "I went everywhere with him. June usually stayed home with Mama but I went with Daddy. We moved 22 times by the time I finished high school."

The family dinners in Atlanta were attended by the hosts- Layne and McMichen and many of the local musicians including Fiddlin' John Carson, Riley Puckett, Gid Tanner, Hugh Cross, Earl Johnson, Lowe Stokes, Slim Bryant, Kasper Malone, and Boss Hawkins.

Slim Bryant, who became Mac's guitarist in his Georgia Wildcats Band (and for a short time he was a Skillet Licker in 1931 at WCKY) first met Mac at one of the dinners around 1929. I also interviewed Slim who is now over 100 years old.


Mellow said...

Would like to have more info on Boss Hawkins. I wrote an article about Ted Hawkins, Skillet Licker mandolinist and longtime friend of Riley Puckett. He played in a band together with Boss Hawkins in the early 1920s called the Hapeville String Band. Are they related?

Would like to know that! Good article.

best wishes,

Richard L. Matteson Jr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard L. Matteson Jr. said...

I assume they were related. I'll check into it more. I know they played in Mac's Hometown Band. Riley was member of that group in 1922 along with Ted Hawkins.

I bet Juanita or Slim might know. Please emil me your article I'd like to read it.

Or I'll post on my blog here.



Mellow said...

did you get my mail?