Musician and singer born William Marburg in Riverwood, Maryland, who, like many budding bluegrass artists, grew up listening to bluegrass on the radio. By the 1950s, he was laying down vinyl with The Dixie Mountain Boys. At the age of 17, he wanted to meet A.P. Carter , so he went to his house in Maces Springs, Virginia. The two of them became such close friends that when Carter passed away in 1960, Clifton was asked to be a pall bearer.
A year later, he organized the first bluegrass music festival in Luray, Virginia. He became quite literally an ambassador of the genre, as his family emigrated to England a couple of years later and work followed on the club circuit.
His subsequent stint with the Peace Corps allowed him to spread the bluegrass gospel to such exotic locales as New Zealand and the Philippines. Clifton settled in Mendota, Virginia, and in 2008 he became an inductee into the International Blue Grass Association’s Hall of Fame.
Bill Clifton recordings:
Here he is singing “Longing for Old Virginia”…