Fiddlin’ Bill Henseley, Mountain Fiddler, Asheville, North Carolina. By Ben Shahn (1898-1969), 1937. Farm Security Administration. Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).
Fiddlin’ Bill Hensley is one of the legends of old-time fiddling. He had it all—a hair-raising sound, an interesting bag of tunes, and charisma. With his lean face and handlebar mustache, Fiddlin’ Bill attracted the eye of photographers such as Ben Shahn, through whose beautiful Depression-era portraits he became the very symbol of the country fiddler.