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Leonard Copeland
Born:  July 24, 1901
Died:  April 17, 1971

About The Artist

Leonard Cecil Copeland's musical significance results from the few instrumental guitar duets he recorded with the better-known Roy Harvey on Columbia.

Copeland was born in Monroe County, West Virginia, but moved to Beckley as an adult where he worked as an auto mechanic.

Research uncovered a personal appearance for Leonard and his group, "The Raleigh County String Band," at the Mann family reunion in 1937. His appearance was the featured entertainment for the family gathering.

Leonard Copeland - Engine and Mowing Service Ad - 1956 Although Harvey played with a flat pick and Copeland with thumb and finger picks, they sounded so near alike that Roy's daughter could hardly tell which was which. At Johnson City in October 1929, the pair did four numbers and the following April did four more in New York, only two of which were released.

Decades later, a third, "Back to the Blue Ridge," came out on a long play album. All their tunes were considered high quality.

After his recording experience, Copeland returned to Beckley and mechanic work. Sometimes he was self employed and at other times he worked for an auto dealer. He also played with a local string band until the late 1950s.

Leonard Copeland - Roy Harvey - Columbia 155514 - 1929

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • Society News - Mann Reunion Will Be Held At Lindside; Mary H. Paul; August 31, 1937; Hinton Daily News; Hinton, WV

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  15514 A Just Pickin'
  15514 B Beckley Rag
  15582 A Underneath the Sugar Moon
  15582 B Lonesome Weary Blues
  15637 A Greasy Wagon
  15637 B Mother?s Waltz

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