Ethel Caffie-Austin

Lonesome Pine Fiddlers

formed in 1938

With members hailing from Mingo and Mercer counties, the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers represent a significant chapter in WV’s musical history. Founding members Ezra, Ray and Charlie Cline, and later members Melvin and Ray Goins formed a group that was one of the first to play what is now called “Bluegrass Music” and, as such, were a very influential first-generation bluegrass band.

The group formed in 1938 and continued in various forms until 1966. Former members Melvin Goins, Bobby Osborne, and Paul Williams are regarded as true masters of the genre. Later, various members of the group made their own marks in Bluegrass, playing with artists including The Osborne Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, and Bill Monroe.

The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers performed on radio in Bluefield and Huntington as well as in Pikesville, KY, and Detroit, MI. Recording for the Cozy, RCA, and Starday labels, its songs “Windy Mountain” and “Brown Eyed Darling” are Bluegrass classics.

A few years ago, the German label Bear Family Records compiled and released Windy Mountain, a definitive reissue of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers' music.