McMichen, Clayton, 1900-1970

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Clayton McMichen, who was born on January 26, 1900 in Allatoona, Georgia, began to play the fiddle when he was 11 years old. He began to gain notoriety on his instrument at fiddlers' conventions in the 1920s and on WSB radio. Soon after WSB went on the air in Atlanta in 1922 and for the following four years, McMichen was heard as the leader of a string band called the Home Town Boys. He went on to make several popular recordings with the Skillet Lickers between 1926 and 1930; in about 1930, when the original Skillet Lickers disbanded, he formed his own band, Clayton McMichen and His Melody Men. His new band remained one of the highlights of WSB's programming until he left Atlanta in early 1931.

McMichen worked at numerous radio stations throughout the east and southeast during the 1930s and early 1940s, fronting a band called the Georgia Wildcats, making frequent recordings, and appearing at fiddling contests. From 1945 to 1955, McMichen changed the style of his band to Dixieland. He retired from music in 1955, but in the 1960s he was coaxed out of retirement to appear in bluegrass and folk festivals. He died in Battletown, Kentucky, on January 3, 1970.

From the description of Clayton McMichen papers, 1944-1984. (Georgia State University). WorldCat record id: 265303588

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Butcher, Dwight, 1911-. John Edwards memorial collection, n.d. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Nobley, Robert. John Edwards memorial collection, 1964. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf McMichen, Clayton, 1900-1970. Clayton McMichen papers, 1944-1984. Georgia State University
creatorOf Hoeptner, Fred. John Edwards memorial collection, 1959-1963. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection artist name files, 1940-2005 (artists L-P). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Kahn, Ed. Ed Kahn collection, 1930-1999. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Hutchins Library. Country music souvenir song book and photo album collection 1930-1950 / by Hutchins Library. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Green, Archie. Archie Green papers, 1944-2009. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Georgia Wildcats (Musical group) corporateBody
associatedWith Green, Archie. person
associatedWith Hoeptner, Fred. person
associatedWith Hutchins Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Kahn, Ed. person
associatedWith Nobley, Robert. person
associatedWith Skillet Lickers. corporateBody
associatedWith WSB (Radio station : Atlanta, Ga.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Country music
Country musicians


Birth 1900-01-26

Death 1970-01-04




Ark ID: w6z90r9r

SNAC ID: 17284609