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Franklin Glenn Buchanan, 78, of Black Mountain, originally of Spruce Pine, passed away on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at the Marjorie McCune Memorial Center after a long period of declining health. He was born on March 25, 1934, the youngest of eight children in the family of the late Rommie Ray and Bessie Silvers Buchanan of the Estatoe community.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Junior Ray Buchanan and by his sisters and their husbands, Mae and Terrell Smith, Jane and Glen Robinson, Dorothy and Howard Smith, and Gladys and Earsel Smith, all of Marion, and Ruth and Isaac Ledford of Spruce Pine and Naomi and Paul Thomas of Apopka, Fl. He was also preceded in death by two nephews, Leonard Ledford and Richard Smith, and by two nieces, Shirley Smith and Betty Ledford Duncan.
Mr. Buchanan is survived by a sister-in-law, Grace Burleson Buchanan of Marion, 28 nieces and nephews who love him dearly, including special niece and caregiver Sandra Goforth; and by special friend-like-a-brother Stanley Smith of Asheville, and long-distance friend Betty Campbell of Columbus, Ohio. Also surviving are a number of cousins, and a host of friends in many locales who mourn his passing.
Along with his brother Ray, Frank exhibited musical talent and learned to play both guitar and mandolin at an early age. The brothers performed with Pat Woody as the Carolina Trio; later as a brothers duo at the Carolina Barn Dance in Spruce Pine. In 1949 Frank bought the first F-12 Gibson mandolin sold by Ralph Sullins and kept the instrument until the last year of his life. In 1953 the Buchanan Brothers gained local fame when they won the Arthur Smith talent show and went on to play on WBTV.
After Ray died in a tragic hunting accident in 1954, Frank served in the US Army, worked in Marion and in Detroit, MI, finding groups to pick and sing with everywhere he went; and in between times coming back home and playing with local groups like the Wiseman Brothers. The late 1950’s found him playing with the Cripple Creek Boys on radio station WRVA in Richmond, VA where he met Mr. Bill Monroe, who soon asked Frank to join his band.
Frank went to Nashville the first week of 1960, became Bluegrass Boy #37, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage less than 24 hours after arriving in the city. He recorded and toured with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys for several years, the highlight of his career, and always attended the band reunions in June of each year in Rosine, KY.
In later years Frank lived in Marion and played with local groups; then in Maggie Valley, NC, where he played venues with Raymond Fairchild and others; recorded many tapes and CD’s and wrote and recorded Maggie Valley Waltz.
Frank loved music and he loved others through his music, loved the Lord and loved his family. He never forgot a friend. He continued to spread joy to the end through his performing, even in the assisted living center.
A funeral service for Mr. Franklin Glenn Buchanan will be held in the Grindstaff Memorial Chapel of Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine at 2:00 pm on July 7, 2012. Mr. Buchanan will be eulogized by his nephew; Charles Ledford The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 pm before the service. Burial will be in the Liberty Hill Baptist Church Cemetery.
Words of comfort may be e-mailed by going to our website; www.webbfh.com
., selecting obituaries, and clicking on the name you wish to view and sign the guestbook. Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine, NC is assisting the Buchanan family.