Goodbye – John McIlvaine “Mac” Benford [2020-02-15]

John McIlvaine “Mac” Benford died on February 15, 2020. Mac played at Wheatland during the 1970s and 80s with the Highwoods Stringband (Mac shown far right) and the Uncles and the Footnotes, and during the 21st century with Fat City Stringband. Bruce Bauman, another Wheatland founder, expressed that Mac and the late Tommy Thompson (Red Clay Ramblers) “were the most influential banjo players to play on the Wheatland stage.” Fellow banjo legend and frequent Wheatland performer Rick Good wrote about Mac, “Over the course of our nearly fifty-year friendship, Mac became family in the truest sense of the word. So numerous are the stories I could tell and so deep is my affection for him that I will simply repeat here the loving words of his son, Wade: When I grow up. I wanna be just like him.”