Ronnie Kidd passes

Ronnie Kidd with bass (right) – photo by Katie Danielle Photography

Ronnie Kidd, 67, of Seagrove, NC, passed away on January 25. He was an active member of his church, a Gideon, a Mason, and an avid bluegrass enthusiast. An accomplished musician who could play “anything with strings,” Kidd frequented area bluegrass festivals, fiddlers’ conventions, and jam sessions. In recent years, his primary instrument was the upright bass.

His wife, Brenda, shared, “Ronnie loved God, his family, friends and bluegrass music. Other than Johnny Ridge bringing his guitar to school, Ronnie was the one I learned to love bluegrass music through. Through Ronnie and his music, I have met a lot of good people. To say he will be missed is an understatement, I loved him 46 years here on earth and I’ll love him for eternity.”

His daughter, Katie Kidd, added. “Daddy’s passions in life were pretty obvious. He loved Mama, us kids, and bluegrass. If he wasn’t working hard on a construction site, he was holding an instrument playing music. I inherited his love of music and his sense of direction. Those actually go hand in hand. As long as I know how to get to and from somewhere, I’m able to go near and far to hear the best that music has to offer. I loved traveling with him to jams, conventions, and festivals. When it came to music, I was wherever Daddy was going, staying out late, and soaking up every note that was played.”

Garrett Chriscoe, multi-instrumentalist and eldest son of the late North Carolina instrument luthier/repairman Harold Chriscoe, was Kidd’s best friend.

“He was a true friend. What you saw is what you get. He was a humble man. He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was good to me. He drove me when I couldn’t drive (the effects of Lyme disease). We went to Denton, Bass Mountain, Galax. We played a lot of music together.”

Vernon Allred, banjo/bassist with numerous North Carolina bands including the McPherson Brothers, the original Union Station, and ASH & W, had a long association with Kidd. His oldest son, the late Matthew Allred (played with the Country Gentlemen, Jesse & Jesse, and the Larry Stephenson Band), worked with Kidd (laying ceramic tile) and picked together in several bands.

Allred reflected, “They played in several (area) bands together, including one called Big Spike Hammer. He picked up Matthew to play music before Matthew ever got his license.”

Sandra, Vernon’s wife, added, “Matthew led Ronnie to the Lord. Ronnie said he wouldn’t have gone to church if it weren’t for Matthew.”

Kidd’s name was appropriate for his demeanor. He was known for the twinkle in his eye, the smile on his face, and his quick wit.

Tar Heel banjo and fiddle player, Danny Bowers, had fond memories of his picking pal. “Neither of us were little fellars. When we got together, I used to tease him that if beauty was skin deep, we’d have a corner on the market.”

Matthew Nance, area banjoist, chimed in, “He always came up to me and said the name’s Kidd, I guess you know yours. I always got a kick out of that. That’s what he always said. He was a character for sure!”

Visitation is tonight (January 31) at Joyce-Brady Chapel in Bennett, NC, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at Riverside Baptist Church in Seagrove. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

R.I.P., Ronnie Kidd.

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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.