- Charles K. Wolfe
McMichen, Clayton (26 January 1900–03 January 1970), country music fiddler, singer, and composer, was born in Allatoona, Georgia, some forty miles northeast of Atlanta. His family was from a Scots-Irish clan who had been in the area since the 1790s and had absorbed many of the Anglo-American folk-music styles in the area, from shape-note religious singing to playing the fretless banjo. McMichen’s own father was what he called “one of those sophisticated Irish violin players” who could read music and play anything from breakdowns to light classics, and young McMichen grew up listening to a wide variety of music. As a youth, McMichen was determined to make his living as an automobile mechanic but was soon drawn into trying to make a living by fiddling....