1978 Paris Missouri Old Threshers Fiddle Contest

One of my favorite Missouri fiddle contests back in the 1970s and 80s was at the Old Threshers Convention in Paris, Missouri, the unofficial capital of Little Dixie. The contest was usually a weekend after July 4th so it was hot, humid and dusty on the old fairgrounds.

There were demonstrations of threshing machines and steam powered tractors and plenty of antique stationary gas engines. It was the first I took a drink of Pete McMahan’s coffee and discovered that he put at least five spoons of sugar in each small styro cup!

Below are some pics, most from 1978 and a few from some other year. Check the captions for more info. I’ve also included a video from the contest in 1983.

Fiddlers lined up to get their trophies and prize money. L to R: Lynn Wells, Dwight Grover, Gene Wells, Taylor McBaine, Jake Hockemeyer, Charlie Walden

My mom waiting to see the check – HAHA!!

Taylor McBaine and Bud Ravenscraft

Virgil Smith

July 1978 Paris MO Fiddle Contest – Charlie Walden acc. by Walter Calvin and another guitarist

Jake Hockemeyer

Unidentified musicians at the microphone

Charlie Walden with the prize envelope

The trophy!

Inscription reads: Mark Twain Old Threshers / 1st Place Old Fiddlers Contest / Sponsored by Bob Riley Ins Agency

Souvenir Admission Buttons

Video of Fiddle Contest at Paris from 1983