Dixieland Jug Blowers: Personal Stories

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Aug 6, 2010

Earl McDonald holds a very special place in my heart. A wonderful jug blower and a true Louisville original, we have been lucky enough to get to know some of his family, including his daughter, Mattie Mathis and his granddaughter, Terri Brown. While Mattie knew her daddy was a musician, most of the rest of the family had NO idea. At the 2009 Jubilee, we were honored to be able to unveil a custom engraved granite headstone for Earl's Grave, which had previously been unmarked. We also were able to get a historic highway marker with information about Earl's accomplishments permanently installed within the Amphitheater where the Jubilee is held. As I said to his daughter Mattie when we met, we were probably 2 of the only people living that day whose dad's made their living playing jug band music full-time.


Apr 13, 2010

I was at the Jug Band Jubilee in 2009 when we dedicated a gravestone and a historical marker for Earl McDonald. Toward the end of the festival, I was chatting backstage with a few of the performers about who was the greatest jug player of all time, and we all agreed that it must have been McDonald. At that moment, McDonald's granddaughter walked over and I introduced her to the other musicians. It was wonderful to watch them tell her, "I'm so honored to meet you" and "Your grandfather was the best ever!" She had her daughters with her and said, "Did you hear that? They said your great-granddad was the best ever!"