Biography:Estill Bingham

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Estill Bingham

 Given name:     Estill
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Bingham
 Place of birth:     Bell County, Kentucky
 Place of death:     Pineville, Bell County, Kentucky
 Year of birth:     1898
 Year of death:     1990
 Profile:     Musician
 Source of information: david taylor family tree.htm

Biographical notes

Estill Bingham (1898-1990), the youngest of thirteen children, lived all his life in Bell County, Kentucky. He learned much of his repertory from this father, Noah (1850-1930) of Harlan County. He married Ophra Holcomb in 1932 in Barbourville, Knox County. Jeff Todd Titon notes that Estill learned to play the fiddle at age seven, but his mother, anxious lest he become "rowdy" had him learn gospel tunes first. His repertory was varied and, when recorded by Bruce Greene and Bob Butler in the late 1980's, included gospel hymns, dance tunes and slower pieces learned from neighbors as well as his father. Records Titon: "He was a treasure trove of unusual tunes. In addition he played well-developed and somewhat unusual settings of well-known tunes. With a fairly light touch he sawed back and forth in short, jigging bow strokes, seldom resting his bow on more than one string at a time." He thought of his ability to play the fiddle as "a gift. Everybody couldn't learn to play a musical instrument" [1].

  1. Jeff Todd Titon, Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes, 2001, p. 199.