|Name Bill Spence|
|Education University of Iowa|
Albums The Hammered Dulcimer
|People also search for Bill Spence with Fennig's All-Star String Band, Russell Cook, John McCutcheon|
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Bill Spence (born August 12, 1940 in Iowa City, Iowa) is a hammered dulcimer player from New York.
- Tobin s favorite played by bill spence on the hammered dulcimer
- Bill spence smdf 1985
Bill spence smdf 1985
Spence began playing the hammered dulcimer after hearing Howie Mitchell at the 1969 Fox Hollow Festival in Petersburgh, New York. He made his first dulcimer following a plan in Mitchell's book. The only hammered dulcimer recordings available at the time were by Mitchell and another player, Chet Parker on the Folkways label. Spence developed his own style, working out tunes he heard on recordings of other instruments.
In 1970, Spence helped form Fennig's All-Stars, which featured his hammered dulcimer as the lead instrument. The group made its first recording, The Hammered Dulcimer in 1973, using a two-track recorder in Spence's living room. The album was widely distributed (over 60,000 copies have been sold), and became very influential in the early part of the hammered dulcimer revival. One of the cuts from the record (Gaspé Reel and Fiddle Head Reel) was used as the theme for the popular PBS series Crockett's Victory Garden. The album was also designated as a "Recording of Special Merit" by Stereo Review magazine.
The Hammered Dulcimer also marked the beginning of Spence's own record label, Front Hall Records. In addition to several further albums by Spence and Fennig's All-Stars, the label also released albums by a number of other folk performers, including John McCutcheon, Walt Michael and Company, Louis Killen, and Alistair Anderson. Spence and his wife, Andy, also operated Andy's Front Hall, a mail-order business selling instruments, recordings, instructional materials, and related items. In 2005, the business was scaled down from a full-service operation.
Spence graduated from the University of Iowa in 1962, with a degree in Communications. He worked for the Army Security Agency until 1965, and then at the State University of New York at Albany as an audio-visual and computer graphics specialist until retiring in 1998. He currently lives in Voorheesville, New York.