Alleghany County, NC, banjo player and instrument builder Fred Roupe passed away on May 22. Roupe was born near Sparta, and was already playing the banjo at the age of six. As an adult, he was a prominent member of the northwestern North Carolina old-time music scene, playing on the radio, in VFW halls, and throughout the mountains with Dell Reeves, Howard Joines, the Little Brown Jugs, Swamp Grass, and others. Later in life, Roupe became a very accomplished instrument maker and repairman. He made more than 25 banjos, hundreds of banjo necks, and some mandolins and fiddles as well. Photos of Roupe at work, and more information about his life and music, can be found by searching on his name at http://artists.blueridgeheritage.com.