bill taylor
bill taylor

A Sad Loss For The Dulcimer Community

I received the following from Burt Kahn.

It is with great sorrow and heartfelt grief that I inform you all of the passing of my dear friend, Bill Taylor. Surrounded by his loving family, Bill passed quietly on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.

We all  learned so much about music and the dulcimer from Bill. Those of us who attended his classes walked away from each one of them, a better musician and dulcimer player. The hundreds, if not thousands of his student would attest to that.

Bill was a gentle soul. It was one of his many qualities. As a musician and dulcimer player, he was one of the best. As a human being he was the Best! I consider Bill to have been a great dulcimer player, and yet he never sought the limelight. He was just as content playing backup for another musician as being a solo performer.  I never heard one harsh or bad word about Bill. Everyone loved him. The guitar that accompanied so many performers was built by Bill – another of his talents.

As a luthier, he was unsurpassed. He introduced a quality of dulcimer and design that has not been surpassed. Not only did his instruments sound great; they were beautiful to look at and own.

If you were fortunate enough to have had Bill as a friend, he was a loyal, giving, caring man who treasured your friendship.

He loved his family, music, the dulcimer, and fly fishing. 

There will be a memorial for Bill in the future. There is nothing firm about where or when. As his widow gives me that information, I will pass it along. The following is Bill’s obituary.

William “Bill” Taylor passed away October 3, 2021 with his family at his side.

Bill was born November 5, 1954 in Maryville, Tennessee. He graduated from Maryville High School and The University of Tennessee. 

He picked up the guitar at the age of 20 and quickly became an accomplished musician. He played with Citico Creek bluegrass band at Silver Dollar City and then Dollywood, and also many music festivals and competitions. The band performed on the Grand Ole Opry in 1983. He met his wife, Barbara in 1980, and they just celebrated 41 years of marriage on September 20th.

He later became a skilled luthier and built over 1500 mountain dulcimers. He also taught music lessons and performed at festivals all over the eastern United States and helped found the Knoxville Dulcimer Club.

He embarked on a new career later in life as a school teacher at Jones Cove Elementary School. He also shared his combined love of mountain music and nature with generations of Sevier County children at the Eugene Huskey Environmental Center. 

Bill will be remembered for his kind and generous nature. He approached family and friends with an impractical level of patience. He was an extraordinarily loving husband and father, as well as a supportive teacher, coach and scout leader. He had a lifelong love of fishing which he shared with family and friends. The trout of East Tennessee are the only ones not mourning his passing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Barbara Taylor, sister and brother-in-law Pat and Harry Dean, and sister Susan Hitch. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara Taylor of Pigeon Forge, daughter and son-in-law Emma and Michael Mealer of Richland, WA, son and daughter-in-law Brett and Kendra Taylor of Guam, grandchildren Euan and Vivian Taylor and Benjamin Mealer, and a host of other family members and special friends. A special thank you to UT Hospice for the comfort and support they provided.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at a later date when it is safe to gather in his memory. Anyone wishing to honor his life, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association (