Bill Spence has been a musician for over 60 years, playing banjo, guitar, Autoharp and the instrument he is best known for today, the hammered dulcimer. In his high school days he formed a “Skiffle” band in the style of England’s Lonnie Donegan, playing for community organizations and school events. He took up his interest in hammered dulcimer in 1969 when he first met Howie Mitchell at the Fox Hollow Festival in Petersburg, NY.
This is the original Pick’n and Sing’n Gather’n stringband which was the genesis
of Fennig's All-
In 1970 he formed a string band named Fennig’s All-
In 1973 The Hammered Dulcimer with Bill and Fennig's All-
The Hammered Dulcimer marked the beginning of Front Hall Records, which recorded many popular folk artists, including Michael Cooney, Alistair Anderson, Louis Killen, John McCutcheon, John Roberts and Tony Barrand, Rick Lee, Lorraine Lee Hammond, Margaret MacArthur and Walt Michael and Company.
From 1973 through 1978 Bill Spence and Fennig’s All-
Four more recordings followed. Saturday Night in the Provinces in 1975 featured Tom McCreesh on fiddle with Toby Stover on piano. The Hammered Dulcimer Strikes Again in 1977, Fennigmania in 1981, and The Hammered Dulcimer Returns in 1992 all feature fiddler George Wilson and Toby Stover on piano.
A 1975 photo with Bill's wife Andy on the left. Our original fiddler Tom McCreesh
is in the middle and Toby Stover is on the right.
Photo by Arlen Westbrook
George Wilson, Toby Stover, & Bill Spence at the 2003 Common Ground Festival in Westminster, MD. Photo by Andy Spence
The February -
Bill, Toby and George at a Festival in 1980
Photo by Armen Kachaturian
Born: August 1940, Iowa City, Iowa. Graduated with a BA in Communications 1962 University of Iowa. Army Security Agency, US Army 1962 -