Clyde Troxell was born November 13, 1911, the grandson of medicine-show entertainer Al Davenport. His father, Jasper Troxell, a roughneck teamster for the oil and stave companies, and a lively fiddler, married Al’s banjo-playing daughter in 1907. Clyde’s first instrument, which he still owns and plays, was a homemade fretless banjo just two feet in length that Al Davenport purchased in 1900. Clyde learned to play the guitar during his teenage years, with the help of Al’s son Earl, using both a “knocking” strum and “triple timing,” a four-finger style. By the late 1920’s he was “riding the basses as good as Riley Puckett.” He joined his brother-in-law Virgil Anderson and fiddler John Sharp in 1931, pounding guitar backup for The Kentucky Wildcats. Clyde also sang lead for the group, with Virgil singing the alto.