From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Miles, Henry

(born: 1905  -  died: 1984) 

Henry Miles was born in Samuels, KY, one of the three children of Henry and Mattie Skinner Miles [sources: 1910 U.S. Census; and Kentucky Death Certificate #31298, Registered #74]. The family was still in Samuels when the youngest child, Isaac, born in 1909, died of tuberculosis. Henry, the other son, would later leave Samuels. He was living in Louisville in 1930, according to the U.S. Census. He was one of the lodgers at the home of Vera Brown at 1425 Chestnut Street.

Henry was a musician in an orchestra.He played the fiddle, guitar, violin, and mandolin. He is most remembered for his fiddle playing with the Ballard Chefs (1929-1932) and his group, the Henry Miles Jug Band. Henry had taken over the Earl McDonald Jug Band when Earl died in 1949. Under Henry's direction, the Jug Band performed at the 1965 World's Fair in New York and the 1974 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. 

For more see "The Juggernaut jug band and the folk revival," Chapter 6 in Louisville Jug Music, by M. L. Jones; see the Henry Miles entry by B. Bogert in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Nelson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Samuels, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Encyclopedia of Louisville
NKAA Source: Louisville jug music : from Earl McDonald to the National Jubilee

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: McDonald, Earl

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Miles, Henry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-03-30 18:50:00