Clinton Joyner passes

North Carolina banjo picker, Clinton Joyner, 92, of Concord, NC, passed away on April 12.

Joyner first started picking banjo two-finger style in the 1930s, learning on his daddy’s second hand banjo. Around a decade later, he heard Earl Scruggs play three-finger style with Bill Monroe and tried to replicate the sound. 

“He knew the neck of a banjo,” shared Alan Widenhouse, guitarist with Carolina Homestead.

Joyner picked regularly with John Benson and his mandolin playing son, Wayne, now with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. 

The mandolinist recalled, “I remember my dad and I going to pick with Clinton on Friday evenings. He and his wife were always super nice to me. They joked around about driving skills with me. I was 15 years old at the time and could only drive to their home because my dad was in the car with me.”

Joyner is survived by his wife of 70 years, Janie Cook Joyner. A visitation for family and friends was held on Thursday, April 16. His service will be private. Burial will be at Carolina Memorial Park.

Memorial donations may be made to…

First Baptist Church
PO Box 643
Concord NC 28026

…or to:

Hospice of Charlotte Region
PO Box 470408
Charlotte NC 28247

R.I.P., Clinton Joyner.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.