Encyclopedia Of Arkansas Minute: The Morrison Twin Brothers String Band

Jan 16, 2020

A pair of Searcy County twins played a significant role in the folk revival of the mid-twentieth century.

Abbie Sherman Morrison and Absie Sheridan Morrison were born in 1876, the sons of a Civil War veteran who served in both armies but favored the Union, giving his sons the names of Yankee generals as their middle names.

Born into a fiddle-playing family, Abbie and Absie formed the Morrison Twin Brothers String Band, recording “Dry and Dusty” for the Victor label in Memphis in 1930. The Morrison Brothers won scores of fiddle contests at county fairs, picnics and folk festivals, and Absie was named national fiddle champion in 1925, receiving one hundred dollars in gold pieces.

Abbie moved to Craighead County in 1939, but Absie continued performing and made recordings for Alan Lomax.

Encouraged by Jimmy Driftwood, the twins reunited and played at the first Arkansas Folk Festival in 1963.

Both brothers died in the mid-1960s, leaving a noteworthy musical legacy.

To learn more, visit EncyclopediaOfArkansas.net.