Teddy White passes

Central North Carolina bluegrasser, Teddy White, 67, of Robbins, passed away on May 28 after battling continuing health issues for some time. An avid musician, he specialized on the mandolin and enjoyed playing bluegrass and gospel music with his many friends. He earned numerous awards at local fiddlers conventions.

According to his wife, Jane, “He was best known for his time with the band, Fine Blue Line. That band included Teddy, Lewis Beasley, Tim Williamson, C.H. Lineberry, and later Jerry Garner and Racy Maness. They were together for ten years and made two CDs together. They also won Best Band at Bass Mountain (Bluegrass Festival) one year, and several first place prizes at fiddlers conventions over the years.”

“Most recently, Teddy was the bassist for the bluegrass gospel band, Hammer-N-Song with Mike Garner, Doug McKenzie, Racy Maness, and Monica Williams.”

Another North Carolina multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Medlin, played with White for a dozen or more years in the Deep River Bluegrass Band.

“We had a pretty good thing going. We never got back together after Jimmy Kennedy (bassist) died in 2022. We played so many fund raisers and funerals. Teddy would never charge a thing. 

He was an outstanding, well-regarded musician, but an even better fellow. I met him in 1995 at Clyde’s Music Barn (in Carthage). Teddy would pick me to take breaks during the jam. It scared me to death, but I would try my best. We started playing out together. We would go to Townsend, TN, to play the Old Timers’ Festival.

“It’s unreal what all he’s gone through (health-wise). He had such a will to live. He’s the toughest fellow I’ve ever known and I am going to miss him terribly.”

North Carolina guitarist Bob Dotson added, “Teddy White would play music with you no matter what level you played. If you needed a mandolin picker, he was always there to back you up.”

Local bassist Travis Brady got to know White at bluegrass festivals.

“We got to camp together at different places. Later on, we formed a group called Tri-County Bluegrass with Racy Maness, Wayne Miller, Ralph Cole, Teddy, and me. I really enjoyed all the time we had together.”

White is survived by his loving wife, Jane, and his daughter, Cassie.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Middle Cross Baptist Church in West End, NC on June 17, 2023, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

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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.