Charlie Acuff

old-time fiddler, Alcoa

Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2005)

Charlie Acuff

Photo by Robert Cogswell


Like his famous cousin Roy, Charlie Acuff (1919-   ) came from Union County, but whereas Roy became famous as a country music entertainer, Charlie devoted himself to a deeper mastery of old-time fiddling.  His dedication was evident from the beginning, as he had to learn left-handed.  He always played widely, for squaredances and on the radio, but he balanced his music with a 40 year career at the Alcoa aluminum plant.  Since he retired in 1982, Charlie has performed widely for old-time music audiences, including those at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and he’s shared his large repertory of tunes with countless students.  His sharp recollections and warm personality have made him one of the best-loved musical figures in East Tennessee,


To see Charlie Acuff’s profile in the 2005 Governor’s Awards in the Arts program, click here.

For more about Charlie Acuff, go to:

Youtube addr for 2005 Gov Awd video profile

For further reading, see:

Cogswell, Robert, Tradition: Tennessee Lives & Legacies (Nashville: Tennessee Arts Commission, 2010), pp. 6-11.
Fiddler Magazine’s Favorites.  Mel Bay Publications, 1999. (with CD)

Better Times a-Comin', Tennessee Folklore Society TFS-114  (CD, 2000)
East Tennessee Fiddler, Cedar Glades Productions  001 (DVD reissue, 2009).  Available from
Carrying on the Traditions: Appalachian Fiddling Today, Fiddler Magazine FMV-01 (VHS, 1997?)

Charlie Acuff: Left-Handed Fiddler (featuring John Hartford), CA01 (cassette, 1990)