Melvin Wine died at the age of 93 on March 16, 2003 from complications of a stroke he suffered on
Friday March 14th.
Photo - Paul Macom
Articles, in newspapers and on web sites, noting his passing refer to his music and his long history
as a fiddle player of traditional Appalachian music. He has been the subject of hundreds of newspaper and
magazine articles, a video profiling his life and music, and most recently a biography by
Drew Beisswenger. He was one of a very few remaining Appalachian musicians who learned their music
before radio. The music Melvin learned as a boy had been passed down from generation to generation.
Most certainly he was a unique musician. But more than that he was a unique man. One of deep
convictions and strong values. Melvin didn't preach what he believed, he lived it; day in and day
out. Life was never easy for him. Providing for his family was a constant struggle. He had virtually no formal
education. He struggled at times to express his thoughts in words. Melvin transcended all of this.
People instinctively were drawn to him. It seemed to me as though many, many people had their
first contact with him through his music. But after that they were drawn as much to the man as to
his music. Music was the bridge. He was surely a treasure, but, he was a treasure as much for
what he was as a man as he was for his music. He was a gentle, gentleman. Many will miss him.
He was not someone who will easily be forgotten.
Photo - Mark Crabtree