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Nimrod Workman

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Appalachian singer/songwriter Nimrod Workman was born in Martin County, KY in 1895. Named for his full-blooded Cherokee grandfather, Workman became a coal miner at the age of 14, an occupation he left in 1952 after suffering from Black lung and back problems. Like many miners at the time, no compensation was allotted for his health care, so Workman became heavily involved in the workers' struggle for unionization and began writing songs that told of the 44 years he and others spent below. Over the years he fathered 13 children with his wife Mollie, was the subject of the 1975 documentary Nimrod Workman: To Fit My Own Category, appeared in the funeral scene in 1980's Coal Miner's Daughter, performed at the 1982 World's Fair, received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and released two albums, 1974's Passing Thru the Garden with daughter Phyllis Boyens and 2008's I Want to Go Where Things Are Beautiful with producer Mike Seeger. Workman died at the age of 99 in Knoxville, TN. ~ James Christopher Monger

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06 December 1895 in Inez, KY

Years Active:

'00s, '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s