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Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits

Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009.

Need a haircut? Like bluegrass? Head over to Drexel, North Carolina. For over sixty years Lawrence Anthony and David Shirley have been cutting hair and playing tunes at the Sanitary Barber Shop on Main Street.

Lawrence and Carroll Anthony

Lawrence Anthony and his son, Carroll

What started out years ago, with Lawrence and Drexel’s sheriff whiling the time away with their guitars, has turned into a scene. Each Saturday, anywhere from five to well over 30 musicians will gather to jam in the back of the barber shop, in, as Lawrence likes to call it, “the pickin’ room.” People have come from all over the county and even as far as England to listen.

David & Philip

David Shirley and his son, Philip

Driving into downtown Drexel, you can’t help but notice empty storefronts. Both the Drexel Furniture Factory and the hosiery mill have closed, and so have most of the stores that line Main Street. The barbershop is a bright spot for the community, a place where folks can gather and the music’s free of charge.


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2 Responses to “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits”

To preserve the StoryCorps mission and experience for our readers and participants, comments are subject to the StoryCorps Terms of Service. Comments may be held for moderation or removed if deemed offensive or off-topic. Please do not resubmit your comment if you don't see it right away, it will be approved as soon as possible. Thank you.

  • I LOVED hearing the story of the Drexel Barbershop. I wish I could have made it down there for a cut and shave myself. Lawrence, you will be missed, but not forgotten!

    Comment from Jeremy on December 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • I learned today from Lawrence’s son that Lawrence passed away yesterday. It was wonderful to visit the Drexel Barbershop and get to hear the stories of cutting the hair of generations of families and playing good ole’ mountain music in the backroom. He will be missed!
    Visit the StoryCorps website to hear his stories:

    Comment from Chaela on December 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm - Reply to this Comment

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