Ethel Caffie-Austin

Buddy Griffin

born 1948, Richwood (Nicholas County)

One of WV’s best-known and widely respected bluegrass and traditional country musicians, Buddy Griffin is a multi-instrumentalist who has toured and recorded with legendary acts including Jim & Jesse and the West Virginia Boys, the Osborne Brothers, Mother Maybelle Carter, Johnny Russell, the Goins Brothers, and Mac Samples and the Samples Brothers.

Growing up in a musical family, his parents taught him all the instruments as well as the importance of using humor to entertain an audience. Griffin graduated in 1971 from Glenville State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, and became the staff banjo and fiddle player for WWVA’s Jamboree USA in Wheeling. Over the years, he has played on the Grand Ole Opry more than 200 times and has appeared on more than 150 recordings.

In 2002, working with the Fine Arts Department at Glenville State College, Griffin introduced the first-ever four-year college degree program in bluegrass music and ran the program for several years. In 2011, he received the Vandalia Award from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and in 2019, he was honored with an honorary doctorate from Glenville State College.