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for Thompson, Odell, 1911-1994
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Mebane native Odell Thompson, North Carolina's last active black banjoist, was killed on April 28, 1994, when he was struck by a car. He had performed earlier that day at the Merle Watson Memorial Festival.
Joe and Odell Thompson of Alamance County received a 1991 N.C. Folk Heritage Award for continuing the African-American stringband tradition. The cousins play banjo and fiddle together, a combination that once provided much of the South's dance music.