Final Notes, Linda “Lindy” McCumbers

Singer and guitarist Linda “Lindy” McCumbers of Nicut, West Virginia, passed away on April 3, 2010 at 88 years of age. A native of Calhoun County, Lindy lived all her life right where she was born. She married old-time fiddler Lester McCumbers in 1937. Together they played music for over sixty years. Lindy came from a very musical family and could not even remember learning to sing.  She just always had. Her main musical influences were her mother, Ada Cottrell McCumbers, and her two aunts, Sarah Cottrell Schoolcraft and Phoebe Cottrell Parsons. Her father, Galoroy McCumbers, was a fiddler, her sister Snowie and brother Bernard both sang, and four of Lester and Lindy’s children also learned to sing or play an instrument. In the early ‘60s Lindy, Lester, and their son Roger performed in a bluegrass band called the Sandy Valley Boys.  The group had a regular radio slot on station WSPZ in Spencer, West Virginia.  After Roger passed away at the early age of 48, Lester and Lindy returned to playing the old-time music they had grown up with. They sang songs and accompanied themselves on fiddle and guitar. Lindy’s repertoire included old ballads, many church hymns, and bluegrass and country songs. No one could sing the ballad “Pretty Polly” like she could. Both Lester and Linda became very well known for their music and performed (often with banjoist Kim Johnson) at festivals, music camps, and churches until Lindy didn’t feel well enough to travel far from home. Their music had the sound of an older tradition and era. Lindy will be dearly missed. Surviving are her husband Lester, six daughters, two sons, two sisters, one brother, 24 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren. David Morris, John Morris, Ginny Hawker, and Tracy Schwarz sang and played at her memorial service.

 Erynn Marshall

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