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Wilburn, Virgil Doylelocked

(07 July 1930–16 October 1982)
  • Marilee Birchfield

Extract

Wilburn, Virgil Doyle (07 July 1930–16 October 1982), country performer and businessman, was born in Hardy, Arkansas, the son of Benjamin Elijah “Pop” Wilburn, a disabled World War I veteran and farmer, and Katie Maple Zieger. Wilburn’s musical career began early when he joined older brothers Lester and Leslie, younger brother “Teddy,” and sister Vinita in a family band. The family’s farm provided little support and the father’s war injuries made it difficult for him to hold a steady job. In 1937 Pop Wilburn saw a neighbor’s family singing on the street in Hardy, Arkansas, and had the idea for the Wilburn Family band. With a mandolin, guitar, and fiddle ordered from a Sears Roebuck catalog the children practiced entertaining neighbors on a makeshift stage in their backyard....

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