Kyle Creed (1912–1982)

Updated: February 28, 2011

Banjo player, fiddler, and instrument maker.

Born September 20, 1912, Andy Kyle Creed was one of the finest clawhammer banjo players and instrument makers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether in solo or group situations, Creed played an accentuated banjo style that followed the melody note for note. He liked to play fiddle tunes on the banjo, and he later became an avid fiddler.

From Surry County, North Carolina, Creed grew up surrounded by traditional music. He married Callie Percy Hicks in 1932 and worked as a carpenter, made instruments, and ran a country store at Piper’s Gap, near the Blue Ridge Parkway and not far from Galax, Virginia. Creed became well respected within Appalachia and nationally through performances and recordings. He was part of the Camp Creek Boys, a string band that included Fred Cockerham on banjo and fiddle, Paul Sutphin on guitar, Verlin Clifton on mandolin, Ronald Collins or Roscoe Russell on guitar, and Earnest East on fiddle. Members of the group won many individual and band prizes at the Union Grove and Galax fiddlers’ conventions, and together they made two albums in the late 1960s.

Another album featured Creed and traditional fiddler and singer Tommy Jarrell as a duo. Creed’s precise, focused banjo playing, ringing with harmonics, influenced Thomas Norman and revivalist musicians such as Tommy Thompson (of the Red Clay Ramblers string band) and Henry Sapoznik. Creed also performed at the Newport and Smithsonian Folk Festivals. He died November 26, 1982.

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"Kyle Creed," Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2018, Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 19 Oct 2018 <>

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"Kyle Creed." (2018) In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Retrieved October 19, 2018, from Encyclopedia of Appalachia: