Here are some of the comments your fellow fans have written to us in response to Many go back to the inception of our website in 2002. 

Charlie, I noticed your listing for Carol Hascall at the Missouri fiddlers association site lists her album “Spotted Pony” as undated. On the back of my copy, Lyman Enloe has signed the notes as June 1, 1975, and I’m pretty sure I got this album newly released from her that year. I was a friend of hers and her dad’s and recorded them both a number of times at conventions and at their homes. I gave her all the tapes after I returned to Missouri from living four years in Colorado and learned that her dad, Andy Beaty, had died. I also notice you didn’t also include her as being one of the featured fiddlers on “Now That’s a Good Tune,” on which you also appear. A question: Does anyone have a recording of the publication celebration party for R.P. Christenson’s first volume of “The Old_time Fiddler’s Repertory”? I was there and recorded the whole thing on a portable stereo cassette recorder but have sadly since lost the tapes. As I recall, Chrisenson himself played, and his wife accompanied him on piano. I seem to recall Taylor McBaine playing, also, and perhaps you were there.

I am a flute player, not a fiddle player. Unfortunately, flute players too often have a snobbish attitude about “non-legitimate” music. It is difficult to find “fun” music for flute. I really enjoy playing your fiddle tunes on flute, because they are so fun to play. Even though you website is meant for fiddlers, I as a flute player really enjoy your music.

Hi Charlie, NPR is going to run a story on a collection of Hughes’ recordings and they were interested in knowing if there were any interviews or sound-bites of her talking. I guess almost anything of her talking would be of potential use. Thank you & My Very Best

I will do that I have an old recording of Oval burns and Omaga Burden it’s really good If you don’t have that one I can make a copy of it for you. It is in Cd format. Thank you

Hello, I was recently on the Missouri Fiddling Dot Com website and was looking at your local fiddlers. I wanted to know if I could add my late grandfather to your list? He had been a fiddler since the early 1930’s, and was very well known in Mid-Missouri music groups. His name was William “Bill” Anthony, and he was born in 1923 in Boone County. He played the fiddle, guitar, steel guitar, and piano. He could pick up just about anything and learn how to play it very fast. He was a member of the Missouri Outlaws before they went big, and also a Goodtimer in Columbia. He used to be on the radio in the 1940’s and 50’s with a country music show. I would love to have him on your list, and thanks for having that list up. James Dixon

TO: 50 Missourians You Should Know We would like to thank those who were able to join us on May 22 for the Ingram’s events in Joplin on the one year anniversary of the tornado. Attendees had a terrific day touring Joplin High School and viewing the progress around the city before assembling for the memorial service. We were pleased to see more than 100 honorees and guests attend the 50 Missourians awards dinner that evening. We intend for the 50 Missourians assembly to be an annual event and to be hosted in communities throughout the state. A special thanks to civic leaders in Joplin for doing an extraordinary job as our premiere host city. We would also like to let you know we’re developing a new and exciting Social Media Infrastructure as well as a very useful portal website infrastructure which will serve the interests of business people well beyond the KC area and throughout the state of Missouri . We’ll let you know about progress on relevant advancements as they materialize but we wanted you to be aware of Ingram’s Social Media tools and some of the recent postings regarding the 50 Missourians You Should Know program. As a means of celebration we have posted photos on facebook. Please go to to find your photo. We hope you share it with all your friends and relatives. Thanks for your support,

Just happened across this blog when searching out MO fiddling events for this coming summer, and Wow! Thank you for sharing the recording of Pete! Pete was a good friend and teacher of mine back in the 90s. My sister and I were pretty heavily involved in the Missouri fiddling scene then. I miss it and I miss Pete! He use to play this for us all the time!

Charlie, My name is … and I am looking for general information on Earl Collins and available recordings. I met and actually helped to treat Earl at the end stages of his life. I was on staff at L.A. County Hospital when Earl was hospitalized. It was a touching situation to see musicians from all over the country come and play with and for Earl. I remember meeting his Niece (girlfriend) Johnny who turned me onto his recording titled “Thats Earl”. That recording was lost due to a flood in later years. I would like to replace it on a CD format if at all possible. Do you know if anyone offers this recording as a reissue? Also, what ever became of Johnny, who played the guitar if I remember correctly? In any event, that experience opened my world to americana folk music and has provided me great pleasure for a lifetime. Any help with this search would be greatly appreciated. Best regards

I’ve been learning Major Franklin’s version of “Tom and Jerry” and decided to google the tune, and found your Missouri Tune site. What a delight, Charlie. Hope you’re doing well. Cheers. (By the way, it’s astounding to me that you would attempt transcriptions of any of Stennett’s tunes. It’s always struck me that the way he played, “over the top and all that”, would make reproducing his tunes for a right handed player almost impossible. Perhaps you don’t really try to “reproduce them” anyways–just more or less get at them from the right handed perspective? I’m not trying to start an argument–just has always been my thought that Cyril was magnificent, but a bridge too far. It’s like he was playing a different instrument from a parallel universe.)

Hey Charlie, Could you please take a few minutes and write me an explanation and analysis of Pete’s bowing? How did he do it. Thanks!

Mr. Walden, My name is … and I’m a television producer from Boston looking to do a show about Ozarks culture. I’m going to be in the Ozarks next week and was hoping to catch up with a local fiddler to get some music and footage for a pitch tape I’m putting together. I was hoping you might have some suggestions for fiddlers I might talk to, be it yourself or someone you know. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hi Charlie, My name is… I’m a mid-Missouri native (Rolla) and I’m just beginning to learn the fiddle. I’m hooked and really enjoying it! I’m playing my one of my wife’s grandpa’s fiddles. She says he played a lot and has fond memories of going to his house and listening. His name was August “Auggie” Merrell. He died in 1973. She says he went up and gave Mizzou a bunch of the songs he played not tool long before he passed away. I haven’t found any info on him really yet. If there was some Missouri fiddlin goin on near me, I live in St James, I’d sure like to come by and meet some people and listen to some playin’. Thanks for the great website!

Hi Charlie: I’m working on a review–a remembrance really, of Fred Stoneking for the magazine the Ozarks Mountaineer. I’m sure you must know that Fred died on October 5. In order to put Fred’s playing, and that of his father Lee into perspective, I’d like to say something in the article about their style of playing the fiddle. First of all, I never heard Lee play–but acording to McCann/Beisswenger’s commentary about Lee in their recent book Ozark(s) Fiddle Music the authors state that Lee was a “major fiddler in the upper Ozarks.” Upper Ozarks is not a region or term I’m familiar with, and to my mind the term serves only the purposes of the authors by expanding the Ozark region in order to include fiddlers in their book that stylistically don’t really belong in a book about Ozark fiddling… Anyway, in reading through your fine commentaries about Missouri Valley, Little Dixie and Ozark fiddling–I certainly would characterize Fred’s playing as within the Little Dixie style. Indeed he said to me long ago (1983) that he played a “Missouri” style. Though he didn’t really elaborate, and didn’t really seem comfortable about analyzing his style/bowing/etc–nor did I–Fred always commented on how much influence his father Lee as well as Pete McMahan had on his fiddle playing/repertoire. Before Fred played alot of fiddle (before the mid-1960s), he played guitar for Pete McMahan, Cleo Persinger, Jake Hockmeyer and other mid-Missouri players. His guitar playing certainly reflects the so-called “Missouri Rules” of accompaniment. The Stonekings were from near Clinton, Missouri in Henry County in West Central Missouri–Fred didn’t live in the Ozarks to my knowledge until he played at Silver Dollar City in the late 70s or early 80s which is where I first met him. I played a bit of piano with Fred back in those days–which is the kind of fiddle accompaniment he grew up with and often said he really enjoyed playing with. So do you think it’d be accurate to characterize Fred as playing a “Little Dixie” style? I don’t know if you knew Fred or ever listened to him–but he certainly seems to have come up in the Little Dixie milieu. I’d like to know your thoughts–esp. about the accuracy of characterizing his fiddle playing as Little Dixie style. Also, did you ever hear Lee? As I say I never heard him, though Fred played a ton of tunes that he learned from him. Any perspectives you may have about his playing, I’d greatly appreciate. I know Geoff Seitz spent quite a bit of time playing with Lee some time ago (Lee died in 1989) I also plan to talk to him a bit about Lee as well.

My neice lives in Imperial, Missouri and has expressed an interest in learning to play the fiddle. Is there an old time fiddle organization near her? I live in northern California and belong to the District 6 Old Time Fiddle Association. Since she has never played before I am hoping to find a group of players who can advise her on where to find a fiddle and give her the opportunity to listen and learn.

Hi My Grandmother was fiddle Champion of Missouri in the Early !900’s Hed and her son , Daughter buse to play on the radio . Somewhere around Henley Mo. Her Dad learned How to play the fiddle when she spent two year’s in bed for Polio. Her name was Julia anna (McGhee) Martin.When she was 92 he could still plat the fiddle. Thanks Danny

I run and promote The Fire House Bluegrass Show and Jam here in Springfield. After having a great response from all of the old timey music flowing through the show, I’m thinking of having a fiddlers contest. I was hoping you could point me in the direction of someone who could get me a set of rules and regulations to go by. Maybe some pointers of the do’s and don’ts…. I can come up with some very respectfull judges who have been involved in the old time fiddle music for many years, and truely respect the arts. Any help at all will be a blessing. Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Prize money is $800 for three categories and judges are compensated for gas mileage and also with an honorarium. Event is Sunday at the Hofgarten in Hermann, Missouri. This is the second year for the event, last year we had a super turn out. Joan

Hi Charlie I have been searching the web to see if I could find a source for the Casey Jones tape that came out years ago. Its probably out of print , but I am hopeful. I got to see Dwight Lamb in Tennessee at the Breaking Up Winter festival this past Feb. In talking with him it sounds like he has a collection of Casey Jones music, similar to his Bob Walters collection . I of course was trying to encourage him to put it out as he did with the Walters stuff, and he is hoping to get to it. Casey Jones style is wonderful . He is possibly my favorite deceased midwestern fiddler but I have few examples of his music. If you have any leads that would steer me towards a source for his music I would be grateful.

I am looking for the music for Darkie’s Dream that was in the Old-Time Violin Melodies by W.H. Morris. I am to understand that the Missouri Old Time Fiddlers association reissued that book. Is that song still available?

harriet waterman was my grandmother. i second her on many occasions. was the best fiddler i ever heard then or since

Hi, We are planning a Fiddlers Contest in Hermann, MO for the weekend of June 4th and 5th. We’ll have the contest with the Missouri Fiddlers’ and Country Music Association. I spoke with Vesta a few days ago and her group is on board and she will help with this along with Steve Hall. (she offered Steve’s help) Prize money for three categories to total $800. The event will be sponsored by the Dierberg Educational Foundation. Can you help us promote this on your web site? Our event is called Taste For the Arts and is held in the heart of downtown Hermann at the Hofgarten. Great venue here with views of the Missouri River and Frene Creek meanders by behind the pavilion where we’ll host the fiddlers’ contest. Any questions let me know.

I really enjoyed reading through, I’ve been reading about Missouri folk music and culture off and on for years… mostly Ozark stuff. I’m 37 years old and have never played any instrument (and I don’t pretend to know anything about music, except what makes me tap my foot and what makes me plug my ears). I have a child’s fiddle that I’ve had for ages, passed to me from the closet back home when my dad died. I always remembered as a kid looking at it and wanting to learn to play but it was an old beat up thing, with broken strings and no bows, and I didn’t have any money or know anyone who could play. I have it on a shelf in my living room these days. My father in law recently has passed down to me a similar fiddle, a little bigger, and we took it to a shop and had it tuned up, new strings, pegs, fixed the broken bridge, etc. It’s over 100 years old (it’s actually the same brand of fiddle, only a bigger size, than my dads) and the violin guy at the music shop in Quincy said it had a really nice sound. Anyway, long story short I have a playable fiddle, but no knowledge of how to play it.

Hi Mr. Walden: I assume I’m writing to Charlie Walden. If not, whoever’s at the other end of this e-mail, I’d appreciate a reply if you can answer my question. I am one of the editors of The Portland Collection, a tune book based in Portland, Oregon. At the moment, I’m researching “Salty River Reel,” which we want to include in the next volume. We know that it was a staple of Uncle Bob Walters’s repertory, and that Cyril Stinnett played (beautifully, I might add!) as well. I am very aware of Walters’s influence in the fiddling world and his conributions to Christeson’s Old-Time Fiddler’s Repertory, but what I can’t seem to find–looking high and low–is a simple bio of his early life. Specifically, when was he born, and what was the year of his death? It would be greatly appreciated if you could help with this. Thanks so much. Regards, Clyde Curley

Hello: A few comments. First, a word of thanks for posting those Charlie Walden fiddle tunes. Very neat fiddling. I am too a fiddler, but nowhere near Charlie’s abilities. I studied the Threshing tune and also set it to music notation. Had to slow it down to get the notes, and still, there is work to do to refine it. That one is quite a piece and played well. Did Charlie write that tune, or was it written by someone of earlier years? Please advise. Thank you, — Warren G.

Charlie…..I want you to know how much I enjoy your web site….I started fiddling 5 years ago, this month (at the age of 70) and have committed myself to the fiddle with a vengeance….It has become an addiction in my life…I never dreamed that I would have had such a love for the instrument….and of course I play every day, and listen to fiddling music when I”m not playing…I have now arrived a apoint where I can mke interpretations on different styles of playing and I especially enjoy the Missouri style. Cyril Stinnet is one of my absolute favourites and youre no slouch either…..I particularly like clyde dursts tune and would love to learn it….Since I have also taught myself to read music – Isearched and searched but cant seem to find it in written form…Is there a music book with it and “boys around the world” … I fyou can help me by directing me to a source, I would be most grateful…thank you for your time….sincerely, JOHN B.

Trying to find info on Harriet (Mrs. Lem) Waterman, who was known to be a great fiddle player. She passed away in 1974 – Lebanon MO area.

Do you know where I can find a printed version of the tune you play � Allentown Polka? — Fiddler in Washington State

I found your website and saw how familiar you are with WOS Radio of the 20’s & 30’s. I’m trying to get some information about my grandfather who played in a band by the name of Stephans, Blackburn & Benedict. They played several times at the Capitol and were aired on
WOS. His name was Harrison Benedict and the three guys that made up the band were from Chamois/St. Aubert area.

I was wondering if you knew of any published photographs and/or bibliographies of some of the bands that played at the Capitol during that period. I would like to find a photo of him during that era.

Hello: I don’t know if this organization is still going but I hope so. I am 58 years old and have been sort of getting into the fiddle in a serious manner in the last couple of years. I could already play several other instruments but realize now that I should have been playing the fiddle long ago. Anyhow, I have a lot of enthusiasm for the fiddle and am putting a bunch of music and recordings together and hope that you might still list the fiddle contests in Missouri . I am also looking for a book that I have heard exists of some of Lyman Enloe’s fiddle music. I had some ancestors who were Missouri fiddle players although I have no idea if they ever played well enough for anyone to take notice of them. They would have been in Ray County . My great granddad Stephen Jacobs and a great uncle Erwin Keith would be those gentlemen. Any correspondence would be appreciated and I thank you for your time. Sincerely, Ron H.

I’m typing this from Versailles,Mo. Im here visiting a friend …Im an oldtime fiddler thinking about relocating to missouri …yesterday there was a fiddle contest here but it was all about the texas swing contest style and no one wanted to jam …. do you think I’d be able to find oldtime fiddle music players out here in the Versailles area if I moved here ? All I see right now are gospel folks . thanks for any info. Jimmy A.

Sir, I am looking for tunes in Fiddle Tab along with a MIDI or other format so I can learn the music. Thank you, Jack D.

Hi, my name is Ben. Can you please tell me if the D’Armond Bug violin microphone is available and where I might buy one or at least, buy a potentiometer for it. Thank you in advance…

Who is the old-fart in the red shirt? — jg

Thanks for a wonderful website…. Our little group, here in Texas, is also looking for some bluegrass music. Could you suggest a site for us? John K.

Dear friends, I heard about a fiddle festival in Ste. Genevieve MO scheduled, I believe, for the first weekend in October. I can’t find any information on it? Can you help me out? Many thanks! Karen F.

Dear sir, I have recently moved into the springfield area and was wondering if you knew of any good fiddle jams in the area. Also would you know of any good teachers around? I am from guthrie oklahoma (near OKC), and have played for several years, but would much like to improve. Any information would be appreciated! Thank you! Ben G.

Hi, My name’s Katie B., I’m actually one of Matt Wyatt’s old students. I moved down to Cape Girardeau, MO last year, and I’m opening a fiddle shop (in hopes of maybe starting something down here, getting some interest, helping fiddling grow atleast here) so I was kinda interested if you have any ideas, and I’m trying to get some cd’s/tapes to sell in my store of good Missouri Old-Time fiddle music…thoughts? Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks, Katie B.

I ‘ve been listening to Gene Goforth and John Hartford’s Hamilton Ironworks . I want to develop a Missouri style to my fiddling so I’ll be hanging around looking for help. Your site is great Thanks. Wendel.

My great-grandfather James Mackland Nasalroad born 1889 in Dallas County MO was a fiddler and at one point he was recorded “by some people from a college up north”. My mother remembers him playing “The Laughing Song” by George W. Johnson for her frequently, but I do not know what might have been recorded by him.

I was wondering if you have any idea which college/university (my mom understands that the college was in northern Missouri) might have been collecting recordings in the 1940’s (date approximate, could be earlier.) Thanks for taking the time to read. Mary S.

Just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed this site. I am Missouri born but have lived in Wa. State for 25yrs. My father was a fiddler and so am I. We have a non-profit group here in Olympia called Black Hills Pickin’ Party. We play at different events and nursing homes as well as
have a regular monthly workshop and jam. I am related to a well known Missouri fiddler Fred Stoneking. I always enjoy hearing Missouri fiddle tunes. Thanks, Karla

Howdy! I’m current president of the Nevada Old-Time Fiddlers Association based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We were formed in 2003 and have a membership of about 45. I’m writing you today to extend a special invitation out to your membership. That is, we recognize that we live in one of the most traveled-to destinations in the world, receiving thousands of visitors every day. Out of these multitudes of people, there are bound to be old-time musicians from other states of this great country.

The great things about the missions of our old-time fiddling groups is the fellowship of people and the learning of music we pass along to each other. My invitation is to welcome any Missouri old-time musicians visiting Las Vegas to contact me when coming to Vegas to welcome you to join us in any of our regular jams sessions should time in your visiting schedule allow. Or, I’m sure I could coordinate some members to get together for a jam should your visit not coincide with one of our regular sessions. The Nevada Old-Time Fiddlers Association welcomes you anytime. Thank you, and Fiddle On! Paul B. A. President – NOFA

Hi, I just moved to the KC area from Florida. I play stand up bass and played a lot down there. I’d appreciate it if you can tell me if there’s any old time jams or people I can contact in my area.
Thanks. Paul L.

I am looking for info on fiddler contests held in Missouri between 1905 -1910. My husband’s grand mother, according to family history won a fiddle contest.during that time. WE have the violin she supposedly played. It was passed on to her only son, and now to my husband. Her name was Mamie Bugh married name Peek. Her son taught himself to play and played for many dances etc. We would like to know if this story is true. Any help you can give is welcome. Enjoyed the history of Fiddling in Missouri. Thank You

Charlie, Thoroughly enjoyed your playing at Harrietville last month. Really liked your versions of “East Tennesse Blues”, “Billy Cheatham” and especially “Two o’clock in the Morning”. They give me a challenge. Again, thanks for making the trip and for your excellent music. Best regards. John T. Merimbula NSW

Charlie, Found some more information on my Missouri Fiddler. His first name was Tom, and they were living at Round Springs, Missouri in 1912. Also, I sent you an e-mail a couple of months back, asking if you knew where I might get a copy of Bill Schull’s Uncle Pink. In the alternative, might you have contact info for Bill? Thanks! Martin

Hello! My name is Tyler and I’m a flatpicker from Springfield. I was looking around online to find some tunes to learn from our own great state and stumbled across your website. I was curious if you might know of any compilations that I might find of Missouri fiddle tunes or perhaps if you know of any Missouri tunes that could be found for guitar tablature. I was really stoked to find your site, it’s a great thing to do and I’m really happy to listen through the MP3s you posted. Thanks a bunch, Tyler

Hi, Charlie I trust this finds you well. Looking for info on a Missouri fiddler, last name of Richardson. He was reported to have been the Missouri state champ many times over. I suspect this would have been in the 30s – 40s, though perhaps in the 20s. His son, Charlie Richardson, lived over near Leslie, west of Mtn. View, Arkansas, and was quite a good fiddler himself. He was born in 1912, and died in 1992. Thanks for your time and attention. Martin

Dear Sir, I was playing a tune this last weekend and my backup guitarist asked, “Is this Missouri Rules?” to which I replied, “No, this tune is called Lafayette.” Without much further elaboration, he said it seemed to fall into a category of tunes that can be accompanied by a chord progression called “Missouri Rules” backup. Can you enlighten me as to what progression he was referring to and the origin of Missouri Rules and what tunes might be included in this category? Thank you for your time, Al in Denver

March 31, 2008
From: Howard Marshall

Subject: Nile Wilson

I wish to inform everyone of the passing on March 21 of north Missouri fiddler Nile Wilson of Bucklin at the age of 95. A great loss of one of the legendary elders, and a good friend.

Nile was among those who played in the WOS radio fiddle contests and live broadcasts in the late 1920s (Jefferson City). Nile played a number of “tie hacker tunes,” many of which he learned from his fiddling grandfather Isaac Wilson, who walked to north Missouri from Indiana after the Civil War as a young Union Army veteran. Isaac Wilson worked in the tie hacker camps, hewing white oak railroad ties for the railroad being built across north Missouri. These camps included a number of itinerant Irish and Scotch-Irish fiddle players (Civil War veterans), in the same part of Missouri where Francis O’Neill taught school for a year and collected several fiddle tunes at local dances (before going to Chicago and becoming famous (see article in Missouri Historical Review, October 2005).

Nile’s recordings include several cuts on “Now That’s a Good Tune:” Masters of Missouri Fiddling (1989) as well as a CD produced by Charlie Walden and Bill Shull, Nile Wilson: Tie Hacker Hoedown (1995). He was profiled in The Old-Time Herald (winter 1994-1995) and other places.

In later years Nile was featured at festivals such as the Frontier Folklife Festival (St. Louis), the University of Chicago Folk Festival, and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. His visitation March 25 was attended by numerous family members and fellow musicians. (FYI, I am writing a memorial essay about Wilson for The Old-Time Herald.)

Charlie, I’m looking for a birth and death date of Fiddler, Joe Politte. Could you help me out on that ? I’m an OT fiddling enthusiast from Grayson County, Va and really like the Missouri tunes. Thank you very much. Jerry C.

Hi,Charlie, First, thanks for your work on and for your CD. I’ve been really interested in Missouri fiddlers and fiddling for a couple of years, and am busy learning tunes from you, Cyril Stinnett, Pete McMahan, Art Galbraith, and Gene Goforth, and everyone else I can manage. I figure if I learn enough tunes from all these guys, that I’ll have a decent repertory, some pretty good chops, and eventually a style or styles of my own will emerge.

I’m trying to find a couple of copies of Uncle Pink. Allen Wyatt gave me Bill Shull’s number but he hasn’t called me back. Might be out of town. Would you have any idea where I could pick up a couple of copies? Were there any left over that you know of? Best wishes for a joyful and prosperous new year. — Michael R.

Dear friends of Missouri fiddling, It is with regret that I inform you that the lifelong devotee of Missouri fiddling and fiddlers, Charlie Stallcup, died on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at a Hannibal hospital. Frank Ferrell, Charlie’s son-in-law, called me to report this news. Services will be held next Saturday, December 29, at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home, at 302 S. 5th Street in downtown Hannibal (tel. 573. 221.8188). Visitation will be at 10 am, with the memorial service at 11, and with burial to follow. A brief notice appeared in the Hannibal Courier-Post, Dec. 20, 2007. Charlie Stallcup, the Missouri fiddle fan extraordinaire, had celebrated his 101st birthday on November 26. I last visited with Charlie in Hannibal at the bluegrass festival the previous week, and he was his usual bright and engaging self, asking about upcoming fiddle contests and wanting to hear some of his favorite tunes.

While news of Charlie’s death is not altogether unexpected, it is with great sadness that I share this information with you folks. I hope many of his old fiddling friends will be able to travel to Hannibal for the services on December 29 (I plan to do so). In addition to numerous fiddling friends of Charlie’s, I’m sending this email to Allen Wyatt for posting on and David Cavins for posting on In due course, I’ll write an obituary. I hope many of us will be able to attend the services for this kind, spirited, and devoted gentleman. Thanks. — Howard Marshall

Jim Ungar bought Dale’s fiddle from him just before Dale passed away. Of course Jim learnrd the double stop fiddlin’ style from Dale and continued as a top session man until his own recent death. This is leading up to the question, how much would you think Dale’s fiddle would be worth to say, a collector of such items. Just a quess? JM

Near the end of his fiddling career, Lee Stoneking made three LPs. I think the album titles are “Missouri Old Time Fiddling”, “Echoes of the Ozarks” and “Rainbow of Fiddle Tunes”. I have an aunt who lives in Clinton, MO and she knows one of Lee Stoneking’s grandsons, Don Bradshaw, who has a set of these LPs – so I’ve had a chance to listen to them. Taken together they’re an absolutely great snapshot of a central Missouri dance fiddler’s repertoire as it was around 1950.

A new fiddling web-site’s sprung up – – so there’s been lots of discussion on it about various styles of fiddling. So, I’ve been having some conversations with Diane Gillenwater over in Kansas and with Kenny Jackson down in North Carolina about Lee Stoneking’s fiddling. Kenny Jackson says he spent some time with Lee Stoneking when he was
learning to fiddle. Lee Stoneking might’ve been the last great “Little Dixie” fiddler who played in the way that you’d play for dancers in Central, MO. So, it seems – to me – almost a national tragedy that he’s not well known and that his recordings are unavailable. Paul M.

thank you for the info on the fiddling contest. I appreciate it and I will get in touch with gayla and get on their mailing list. again thank you.

I enjoyed your site very much. I just got Gene Goforth’s cd on Rounder Records. I am trying to learn how to fiddle along his lines. I think having transcriptions for you mp3 recordings would be an excellent course for all fiddlers to get that Missouri style you have so well. I know I would sit down and try and learn each one. Thanks Wendelin

Dear Charlie, This is Billy’s friend Suzi and I have a question for you? Do you have any information or recordings of a Missouri fiddler – Everett Pettit. He was actually born in Illinois in 1894 but he lived up in the Little Dixie area-Big Muddy his daughter calls it and then later went with a group to Washington State and then back to Missouri in the Carter County area. He died in 1985. He fathered the girl I work with when he was 70 years old and married to a 38 year old. Sounds like from his daughter’s tales, that he was somewhat of a character. But he was a good fiddler, so what would you expect? Anyways, I am looking to find any documentation that may have been done on him and any existing recordings for her. Thanks! –Suzi

Hi Charlie, I don’t know what a subdominant chord is or much of what R.P Christeson described as being real missouri style accompaniment. I would like to be able to give the pianists I know an idea of what that sounds like. I have the 2 volume lp that came with his fiddle repertory books but even there I’m not able to determine what is real missouri style accompaniment. I’m working on getting some pianists interested in learning this style (so they can teach others) so it would be helpful to me if you coul point to any tunes that have this type of playing on them, either on your cd’s or anywhere. Thanks, Rich

Hi Mr. Walden, Are you still offering the various CD-R recordings that are shown on ? The order form shows a mailing address in Evanston IL and before I send off a check I thought I’d check. My great grandfather Pleasant George (P.G.) Spencer learned fiddle in Illinois and later played for dances in Missouri and in South Central Kansas. I’m eager to learn Missouri styles of fiddling and am always looking for tunes and tunebooks to purchase. I recently purchased the 2 cassette set of “Now That’s A Good Tune”. Is there anyway that I could get a copy of the 64 page pamphlet that was issued with the original LP? Even if I could just find a text file copy that would be great. Are you touring at all these days? Do you have any plans to teach workshops anywhere anytime soon? I’d like to sign up if you do. Would you consider coming to Wichita to do a fiddle workshop? Thanks for your help! — Rich

Hi Charlie, I’m sorry to bother you but I’d actually like to contact Patt Plunkett and I can’t find an email address for her. In June 1994, she accompanied Les Raber at the Old Time Fiddlers Reunion at the David Adler Cultural Center in Libertyville, Illinois. Someone recorded that performance and Paul Tyler sent me a copy to use in transcribing Les Raber’s tunes for the Come Dance With Me tunebook and I’m wondering if I can use some of those tracks for a new Les Raber CD? I’ve been thinking recently about ways to promote Michigan fiddling and specifically Les Raber’s fiddling. I thought the two CDs of Les’s three cassette tapes cover so many good tunes that it’s a shame there aren’t more recordings to direct people to listen to. Since I’ve got several recordings of Les from different sources that I used for the transcriptions, I thought I might make a CD containing tracks from those “field recordings” to promote his music and Michigan fiddling.

I want to be sure that whatever I produce will be something that Les would be proud of, so I’m trying to choose the best versions of the tunes I have. I’ve discussed the project with Les’s daughter, Judy DeGroote and made a sample CD for her to listen to. She thinks it’s a good idea, she likes the sound quality, and she’s given me permission to continue working towards production of the CD.

If I can get approval from everyone who sent recordings, I would like to choose tunes that aren’t currently on either Les Raber CD, and then use computer software to clean up noise and boost the levels so that all the tracks are nearly the same volume. The new CDs will be clearly marked as field recordings so no one will be surprised by voices in the background, clapping, chair scraping, wind and the occasional mistakes. I’m trying to contact everyone who sent me recordings and everyone who is playing on the recordings so I can get permission to use their tracks and give them proper credit in the liner notes.

I also want to make it clear that I’m not making any money on this project or on the sale of any Les Raber items. I’m doing it because I like the tunes. All money goes to the Les Raber Memorial Foundation, which Judy uses to promote Michigan fiddling. If you could contact Patt and forward my request, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks very much, Jim M.

Here’s what’s on the sample CD I made for Judy:

1. Unknown #3 from Paul Gifford
2. Alexander’s Reel from Judy DeGroote
3. Unknown #2 from Jim McKinney
4. Jane Kaylor from Judy DeGroote
5. Grandpa Raber’s #1 from Eliot Singer
6. Dan Reid from Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
7. Unknown #4 from Judy DeGroote
8. Moon Over Lake Erie from Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
9. Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 1 from Paul Tyler Patt Plunkett is playing piano.
10. I’m Not So Young As I Used To Be from Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford

11. Lewis Dembski Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
12. Wooster Oddity Judy DeGroote
13. Peek-A-Boo Waltz Lee Sloan
14. Naughty Boy Schottische Mary Tack
15. Grandpa Raber’s #2 Mary Tack
16. Lloyd Kilts Quadrille Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
17. Unknown #7 Judy DeGroote
18. Put Your Little Foot Lee Sloan
19. Irish Trot Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
20. Jolly Girls Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
21. Orlie Smith’s Tune Judy DeGroote
22. Unknown #11 Judy DeGroote
23. Tenstrike Quadrille fig. 3 Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
24. Fisherman’s Favorite Lee Sloan
25. Russ Craven’s Schottische Mary Tack
26. Mrs. Torrey’s Two-Step Judy DeGroote
27. Right & Left Six Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
28. Unknown #17 Judy DeGroote
29. Red River Waltz Lee Sloan
30. Sally Waters Lee Sloan
31. New Money Musk Judy DeGroote
32. Unknown #10 Eliot Singer
33. Turnpike Reel Mary Tack
34. Stolen Sweets Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
35. Slip Away Schottische Jim McKinney
36. Unknown #16 Mary Tack
37. Rickett’s Hornpipe Mary Tack
38. Shenaniquh’s Hornpipe from Paul Tyler Patt Plunkett is playing piano.
39. Unknown #9 Eliot Singer
40. Unknown #14 Paul Tyler/Paul Gifford
41. Heel & Toe Polka Lee Sloan
42. Grandad Raber’s Two-Step Judy DeGroote
43. Les Raber’s Two-Step Judy DeGroote

Hello I am a fiddler from Ontario Canada eh! I am planning to order the two cds PP-007 Traditional Fiddle Music of Missouri and PP_004 Missouri Fiddle Jam Vol1. I am also looking for other music samples for tunes in the R. P. Christeson – Old Time Fiddlers Repertory Vol 1 and 2 which I recently purchased. I think there were cassettes originally made to correlate with books. Are these tunes still available in cd or mp3 format ? Are there other cds available which demonstrate some of these tunes in the Missouri style and that you would recommend ? Thanks

Dear Mr. Walden, I’ve been trying to find recorded sources for a Missouri tune called Salt River Reel. I’ve heard it played only once by some Swedes long ago. I’ve come across a printed version in R.P. Christeson’s book ” The Old Time Fiddlers’ Repertory, but since I don’t read music it’s not much help. I have asked Brad Leftwich and he gave me your name. I have also asked Rick Martin of Troublesome Creek Stringband. Neither Brad nor Rick think they have ever heard the tune. If you can be of any help, I would certainly appreciate it. It’s such a great A-tune, so I am amazed that it is almost unknown. I can’t locate the Swedes. Best Regards Anders F., Denmark

I visited your web page on Red William’s and enjoyed listening very much. Thanks for doing this.

For what it’s worth, the “unknown tune” you have listed there is widely known in the Eastern US (Both North and South) as the “Richmond Cotillion” though in some parts of Kentucky it’s also called the “Green Mountain Polka”. If you wanted to name it, “Richmond Cotillion” is probably the
right choice. Apparently the “Cotillion” part of the name comes from the fact that the first part’s in the key of D while the second part’s in the key of A though “Flop Ear’d Mule” also changes keys this way and it’s never called a Cotillion – go figure. Anyhow, thanks again for putting these Red William’s recordings up. He could play with the best of’em. –Paulm

Hi there and greetings from Anchorage, Alaska: I am visiting Alaska from New Zealand, with instructions from a friend of mine to see if I can locate a copy of Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes. Do you have any idea where I might find this book? I know it is out of print now. I’d settle for Cole’s 999 Fiddle Tunes; maybe go as low as 998! Thanks for any light you can shed on the subject.
Warm regards, Sue R.

Mr. Walden, Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my email. Your suggestions are much appreciated. I’ve downloaded and printed a number of your transcriptions of fiddle tunes from your website. After practicing them on my fiddle for a while, I had a couple of guys over for a jam. We played your Missouri tunes. These fellows – natives to this part of the country (Maryland) – had never heard most of them, but they liked them. So do I – a lot! I especially like Marmaduke’s Hornpipe. In fact, I’ve spent as much time working out a good rhythm guitar arrangement for this piece as I have spent learning the tune on my fiddle. I wish I could accompany you on guitar on this piece to see if you like the moving bass line I’ve worked out. 🙂 Thanks again for your willingness to share your music with others. — Jack A.

Dear Charlie Walden, I ran across your website through some research I did on the internet on Missouri fiddlers. I am working on a dissertation at the University of Minnesota on Missouri folk music and musicians in the 1930s in connection with Missouri painter Thomas Hart Benton. I am contacting you because I am trying to gether biographical and other information on these fiddlers. I am wondering if you, as a Missouri fiddler, know and/or have heard anything about the fiddlers below who were active in Missouri beginning in the 1930s. These folks would be elderly by now, and they were musicians that Thomas Hart Benton painted and made numerous sketches of in the 1930s and the 1970s:

Homer Leverett (Missouri fiddler from Galena, MO. His brother, Wilbur Leverett, was a guitarist; both were born in 1919 and 1916, respectively) – For your information, I have attached an image of the 1931 painting by Benton of the Leveretts and their cousin Neville Oatman, an accordion player. The Leveretts recorded a couple of 78rpms in the late 1940s/early 1950s, and one LP in the late 1970s. At that time, there were in Lamar, Missouri.

“Old Nick Nickens,” left-handed fiddler from Branson, MO
Raymond Bruffet, fiddler from Branson, MO
Dudley Vance, Fiddler from Bluff City, TN, born 1880, died 1962), knew fiddler Charlie Bowman

My dissertation tries to establish that the musicians depicted by Benton played a significant role in shaping the history of folk music in southern Missouri and the Ozarks during the 1930s and 1940s, and tell the story of how their music-making shaped rural folk music traditions in this geographical area. If there is any information that you might have on these musicians, I would be most grateful. Thank you very much for your time and help. Happy fiddling, Annett R.

Hey charlie how are you? good i hope. I have been trying to get the hornpipe and was looking through a book and found named somthing else. It was caled mountain ranger hornpipe. sounds good and i realy like the flow. I was wandering if you only took the three first bars of the second phrase? drop me a email to let me knowif i am right. i bought a few cds from you about a year ago.

Please tell me how or where to obtain the words and music to the song “Alabama Jublilee”.

I found your web page looking for mid-missouri fiddle lessons. I have just moved to Boone County and I would like to know if you have any suggestions for teachers around here. I am not even sure that this is where you live but it seems, from your biography, that you frequent this area. I have been playing for less than a year but I have a background in other instruments. Thanks,
George C.

Hello Fellow Fiddler, I recently had the opportunity to reenter a 30 years old debate with some fellow fiddlers. The debate …. 1) We feel that two fiddlers were employed to record the KTEL Presents 25 old tyme Fiddle tunes album as two distinct styles seem to be present, one more Irish , the other bluegrass. 2) We believe the slicker bluegrass fiddler to be Johnny Gimble as you seem to state on your … ” tunes I have played list” Any opinion on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Wendel

Good Morning, I am wanting to explore learning to play the fiddle. I used to enjoy sitting around the Courthouse Square when I was younger. Now I’m a bit older and know I can have more appreciation for it. I am currently displaced (thanks Katrina) to Kansas City, MO not going home anytime soon so I want to learn now. I have attempted to find a good starting point here, but so far been unsuccessful. I am really hoping you may provide a resource or point of contact in the nearby area that can help me get started. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Timothy L.

Hello, my name is Thomas Young and I’m a fiddler up in Canada. I’m wondering if perhaps you may know something I don’t and might be able to help me. I’m wondering if you know if the Missouri State Old Time Fiddler’s Association is still in business. I sent a money order off to them in July hoping to procure some cassettes of Bob Walters playing. I haven’t heard hide nor hair from them since and I notice now that the the MSOTFA site is no longer on the net. Which is too bad as I got ahold of vol. 1 of Christeson’s Old Time Fiddler’s Repertory and I’d really like to get my hands on some recordings of Bob Walters and Cyril Stinnett to hear how the “MIssouri valley” style tunes are played. Just wondering if you know what has happened to MSOTFA. All the best, Thomas Y. P.S. luv the Missouri Fiddling site.

Luther Davis, born in 1888, had a knack for remembering not only very old tunes, but also the stories that go along with them. Except for relatively short stays in other parts of the country (notably Illinois), he has remained in the Galax area, working for many years as an auctioneer. He, along with Hus Caudill, probably learned more from Emmett Lundy than any other recorded fiddlers. In addition to Lundy, Luther probably picked up much of his music from such men as Gene Roberts of North Carolina (whom he met while Roberts was passing through Virginia on his way to West Virginia coal fields and who changed tunings “every tune”), Fielding Davis, uncle Freel Lowe and his sons Ike and Hastings, Spotswood Blevins, and Isom and Fielding Rector. Like other “musicianers”, he does not tune to ADAE for tunes in the key of D, but does, however, tune AEAE for many A tunes.

Piney Woods Girl, very similar to some versions of Sally Johnson, was learned from Emmett Lundy who in turn learned it from Green Leonard. It is considered one of the area’s oldest tunes and is seldom remembered except by the old timers. This tune is perhaps the best example of how fiddlers in Luther’s area tend to use a gapped scale, in the key of G, leaving out the C and F#. This is especially evident in the low part of the tune. Although other people play the tune, very few area musicians incorporated the modal sounding part such as Luther does.

–Blanton Owen/1976, taken from booklet included in “Old Originals, Volume 2”, an out-of-print Rounder LP. NOTE: One of my favorite quotes regarding old time music comes from Luther Davis. He said “Play ’em all, whether you like ’em or not. That’s why they’re [the tunes] all still around.”

I came across your website, looking for info on Frank Reed, I found him listed in your discography (Reed, Frank. Old Tyme Fiddlin’. Overland, Missouri: 1976.) Do you have any more info on this man? Does he have more than this one record? Where can I get a copy? I believe I have an old cassette copy of this album. I live in Overland, Missouri and play in a four peice stringband called the River City Buskers. Thanks! Ian W.

I’ve been visiting the home page and was surprised to learn that I’m not a Missouri fiddler. Hartford

just finished an album(but not mixed) of Missouri tunes I grew up with and I’m calling it HAMILTON IRONWORKS. Reckon that tune works as good as any of them. I totally understand.about names.I have a terrible time when it’s time to write out the “thank yous” for an album. Thanks for dealing with my mammoth ego. Hartford

Can you put it out in real music? and not this abc business, which I guess is all right… but I don’t like it for aesthetic reasons. FIDDLER’S HORNPIPE, ROY WOOLIVER’S MONEY MUSK, DEVIL’S HORNPIPE, HAMILTON IRONWORKS, TURKEY BUZZARD. and somewhere around here Roy’s version of LOST TRAIN BLUES. Hartford

Some of those Cyrill Stinnett tunes would be good especially IRISH COBBLER (SHORTNIN BREAD). I really treasure that book and tapes..I had heard of him all my life but had never really heard him. Like the legendary Orville Cassidy. Gene and Roy Wooliver talked about him a lot. There used to be a real good hornpipe fiddler there in South St Louis named Stufflebeam and Hawthornes used to brag on him, especially Clifford..but for some strange reason I never crossed paths with him so I never heard him. Walter Alexander from Leasburg was really good . He gave us BLACK RIVER and KNOCKIN AT YOUR DOOR but I don’t know what ever happened to him. Gene really liked him. Hartford

The tape I have is pretty poor quality but I’ve already transcribed those tunes I mentioned. If you just need names of Missouri Fiddlers I can probably give you a mess of them. If I can figure out a way to email my liner notes with out retyping them, there will be a lot of them in there with comments. Hartford

Hello Charlie, I’ve been enjoying your Missouri Fiddling website, very nice. Anyway, the reason I’m emailing you is because I was curious how I could get your “Poss Tracks” album. I didn’t know if I could get it from you or I had to order it from some other place. One more thing, is it just tape or is there a CD version also? If I can order it from you I’d be more than happy to send you a check or money order, which ever you prefer. Thanks. Take care, John W

Charlie, I have the info from Dad and Mary on a bunch of contests from MO this summer. I will send that separate. I always intend to write them down, but don’t. And to complicate matters, I don’t seem to remember the results after I have gotten about 12 miles down I-70. All I remember was that the judges in Sedalia were roundly booed by the crowd after announcing the results (just kidding). People kept crying out, “I knew we should have given the damn judges a case of beer! They can’t do anything unless they are drunk!” (Still kidding).

Anyway, I think Travis got first. Alita was second. Matt was third. Levi Roden fouth, Kelly Jones 5th, etc. Pretty typical fair results. See below. It was a fun contest. The highlight for Matt was when they asked Kelly Jones to entertain the crown during intermission, and Kelly asked Matt to second for him. Instead of sending a second email, I will cut and paste the results that Mary (my step-mom) sent. Here they are:

March 18, 00 Boonville 1. Amy LeGrand 2. John Williams 3.Howard Marshall 4.Lynn Wells 5. John White

Matt disqualified-had 3 back up on two of his songs (editorial note: Matt used me and Cody for back up, because he couldn’t find Kenny Applebee. After Matt played his first song, Kenny came up on the stage to play, and hogged a microphone. One of the astute judges (Arch Petree) made it his “mission” to disqualify Matt for breaching the rules (that by the way were not pointed out ahead of time). The bold judges (Arch, Musial Wolfe, and some lady I didn’t get the name of) didn’t even have the courtesy to announce to the crowd Matt was disqualified. The rest of the summer was pretty well ruined, as Junior, Alita, and Matt practiced their civil disobedience and defied the rule (Paris, Odessa, Fulton, and several others resulted in disqualifications). The summer of 2000 will have to go into the record books with an asterisk to explain the results. (oboy)

June 3, 00 Salisbury 1. Matt Wyatt 2. Alita Stoneking 3. Junior Merriott 4. John Williams 5. Howard Marshall

June 17, 00 Bethel (Junior) 1. Birdgett Blum 2. Carrie Reetz 3. Chealsea Reetz 4. Brandon Blum 5. Johnny Buckwalter

(Senior) 1. Tim Stokes 2. Niles Wilson 3. Ivan Crane

(Open) 1. Oleta Stoneking 2. Matt Wyatt 3. John Williams 4. Nate Kilperman 5. Richard Harness 6. Kenny Applebee

June 24, 00 Mexico (Juniors) 1. Carrie Reetz 2. Jefferson Thomas

Open 1. Oleta Stoneking 2. John Williams 3. Cody Merriott 4. Richard Harness 5. Kenny Applebee 6. Arch Petree 7. Lintin Vouman 8. Ivan Crane

July 8, 00 Paris Junior 1. Cody Merriott

Open (Junior Marriott disqualified for using three backups) 1. Oleta Stoneking 2. Matt Wyatt 3. John Williams 4. Lynn Wells 5. Ernest Eddy 6. Kenny Applebee

July 15, 00 Fayette 1. Matt Wyatt 2. Junior Merriott 3. Oleta Stoneking 4. Cody Merriott 5. Mike Wells 6. Dale Pauley

Aug. 08, 00 Fulton (Junior Marriott, Matt Wyatt, and Alita Stoneking were disqualified for using three backups)

Open 1. Cody Merriott 2. Devon Quick 3. Jacob Clayton

Senior 1. Dale Pauley 2. Kenny Applebee

Aug. 11, 00 Palmyra (I refused to play backup, dropping the number to two, and keeping a disqualification from happening)

Junior 1. Cody Merriott Open 1. Matt Wyatt 2. Junior Merriott 3. Howard Marshall 4. LeRoy Cannady 5. Lynn Wells 6. Kenny Applebee

Aug. 12, 00 Warrenton (Another close call. I refused to play backup, and kept another disqualification from happening).

1. Howard Marshall 2. Cody Merriott 3. Matt Wyatt 4. Junior Merriott 5. John Higgins

Aug. 20, Sedalia (no problem -three backups allowed!) Juniors 1. Cody Merriott 2. Rochelle McCary 3. Amber Byrd 4. Carrie Reetz 5. Kimberly Carr 6. Chelsea Reetz

Seniors 1. Fred Stoneking 2. Bill Eddy

3. Dean Vonallman

4. LeRoy Cannady

5. Niles Wilson

6. John Vincent

7. Nelson Garber


1. Travis Enman

2. Oleta Stoneking

3. Matt Wyatt

4. Levi Rhoden

5. Kelly Jones

6. John Williams

7. Lynn Wells

8. Richard Harness

That is it. I think Mary forgot to record Branson, but you probably remember that. Justin Branum first, Alita, Matt, etc. Unless you suffer from poor memory (like me). Oh, and here is one more from last weekend:

September 16, New Franklin, MO Santa Fe Trail Days contest:


1st- Matt Wyatt

2nd – Alita Stoneking

3rd – Junior Marriott

4th – Mike Wells

5th – Cody Marriott

Well, I guess that is it for now. since I went to all the trouble to write this out for you, I will cc a few other people. Take care and keep in touch. Allen

Hello Possum-I enjoyed looking around your site very much although I was not able to access any of your MP3’s or biographical information. I am very interested in learning about Casey Jones. If you have any information about him it would be helpful. I would love to hear any recordings you have of him as well. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Fiddlin’ Joe V.

Hi Charlie – Have been looking for a contact for you for a long time. Thx to Mary Holland here we are. I am trying to find out how to procure some of the recorded sources for MO fiddlers. I have read for a long time about many that would have been available through MSOTFA, but no luck otherwise. Any idea on where I can get a listing of what’s available and how to order? Thx, Ken G.

Hey Charlie, Very nice of you to take the time to write all of this ..very interesting too. Actually, I was responding to a fellow who wanted to know if anyone had come up with a gadget to put on the fiddle itself that would help cure the “wandering bow”. My response was that someone had, but I was having trouble locating the web site. Actually, if I have not developed a good right arm after playing for 50 years, it is probably a little late for me. Thanks again. I love the sharing on this list and have learned a lot. Judy

PS. I have just re-read what you have written and think that it should be read on-list because it is really good advice. What do you think?

If the Vermillion SD Great Plains championshiops count, I think I already copied you on the results there, where Leroy Canaday, John Williams, and I got some of the prizes in various divisions…. Leroy won first in the Open Senior Division, Leroy and John won first in the Twin Fiddle Division, and I won 5th place in the National Invitational Division.

Seth Bradley was the name I was trying to think of. He played on Rooster Creek with us over KFAL and had a heart attack one winter’s morning and the hogs got him, literally..but I don’t think you want to put that on your page. I think he was from Tebbets or somewhere around there. We’re playing Fulton November 14th and I’m gonna see Ron Lutz and I’ll ask him. Also gonna see Howard Marshall and we’re gonna pick some during the day..wish you could be with us. Hartford

Dear Charlie, In addition to Herman Johnson, Orville Burns and Ace Sewell (both from Ok.) are two fiddlers you could put in the “fiddlers from border states” category. Anyway, great web page, hope you get it finished soon. Regards, Justin B

My name is Donna Hook and I am doing research on my family history.My maiden name was Taylor and that is what I am researching.My great grandfather was named Henry Taylor and he was a Missouri fiddler from Levicks Mill, Missouri.That is located not far from the Cairo-Jacksonville area.My great grandfather was quite a fiddler and won the Missouri state Fiddling Championship more than one year.I do know he won in 1926 as I have a copy of newspaper clipping.It states in this article that the winner and the runner up won $100 and also an all expense paid trip to St Louis to record a phonograph record for the ‘Okeh” phonograph company. I am trying to locate any recordings my great grandfather could have done.The article states the free trip was on May 10,1926 so I am assuming the recording would have been made the next week.I was wondering if you would know where I could look to find any of these recordings.I believe he was Missouri Champion in 1930 as well.I was curious to know if there are any state archive recordings.If you could help me out with this matter I would appreciate it very much. Respectfully yours, Donna Hook

Hi Charlie: The Art Galbraith LP I picked up is “Dixie Blossoms”. Great LP. It sounds from the liner notes that this was his first? Really tasteful stuff and lots of style. It would be great if you want to take time to tape another fiddle LP of his for me.

I do have Glenn Ohrlin’s “The Wild Buckaroo” LP on Rounder with Art’s and Gordon McCann’s backup playing. It is an interesting and really well-done selection of cowboy songs. If you don’t have it and want it let me know and I’ll tape it.

Thanks again for the LPs you sent out. I’m working on a couple of Lyman Enloe’s tunes and am always trying to figure out how Pete did what he did. I think it’s a life’s work. I’m still hunting Pete’s 3rd and 4th LPs and any LP I can find of Cyril’s. If you spot something or have any ideas can you give me a heads up? Thanks again! Mike

John Ebenstein, president of the Sante Fe Chapter of the KOFPS (that meets in Gardner, KS) responded to my email, too. He sent me the goods on the Kansas organization. Thanks for your response, though. I went to your site, Possum. You’re like me. I can see what I want in my KPPA site but I haven’t had the time to get it all there yet. Good setup. It’s a real service to the music we’re all trying to keep going. Do you find that most pickers would rather pick than surf? In the KPPA I’ve found that only a few members are web-literate. They enjoy what I’ve done with the site. I know that in the long run it’s the right thing to do, but I’ve been a little let down with the short term impact. Talk to you later, John P.

Thanks for the message Charlie. I will be sending you a couple of tapes and would like more of your music. I especially like what you do with Woodchoppers/St Anne’s Reels. I was trying to figure out the lick on Woodchoppers on low part. Sounds like you are using some kind of double-stop — anyway it sounds cool!!. Please include a slow version so I can figure it out on Woodchoppers. Thanks again, Jodi T.

Thanks for the tune. I think they used to talk abouit Casey, ocasionally, on the “Kitchen Klatter” program which was broadcast for many years by the same radio station. This program may still be on the air. I can remember running on to it some years ago and being surprised it was still around and being continued by descendants of the original family with the same format; kitchen table visit, recipes, family news, letters from listeners, directed toward the at home housewife. My mother used to listen to this program a lot, before television. Hope the holidays are good to you. John W.

I really liked your site. It took me back to 1975-1977 when I moved from Memphis, TN to St. Charles, MO and was first introduced to old time Missouri fiddle music by a co-worker. He gave me a two LP record set of “I’m Old But I’m Awfully Tough” by the Missouri Friends of the Folk Arts when I moved to Denver, CO. I sure would like to get another copy of it or better yet one on Compact Disk. Can you help? I can’t find the MFFA on the internet.

Your MIDI selections are great but I hope that you add a lot more tunes using the WAV format. I’ve downloaded what you have and added it to many others that I got on-line from the Library of Congress colleced by John Lomax (circa 1939) and Alan Jabbour (circa 1966). Its a great way to learn and preserve old-time fiddle music. By the way, how could you fail to include Jessee James and Whiskey Before Breakfast in your top 100 Missouri fiddle tunes? Keep up the great work! Best Regards, Alex S.

You might find this interesting. On my first trip to see him his wife led me into their living room and their was Bob kicked back in a strato-lounger playing the fiddle with a huge unlit cigar sticking out of his mouth. In front of him were two TVs, a large cabinet model and another smaller one perched on top each showing a different college football game. What a hoot.

That was him to a T. He got those cigars from a guy in Peru, Indiana, who had kept a large stock of Havana tobacco after you couldn’t get if from Cuba. I met him while he was living in the DC area, when he and Joan (It hurts to write it that way when they said Jo-Ann) used to drive for more than an hour to get to a square dance he’d heard about, and he’d come back every time, cussing about Paul Jones dances. I only got to visit him once after they’d moved back to Auxvasse. Regards, Joel

I do not have any recordings of Bill’s fiddling but I know that there are some records of his playing that were taken from performances at the Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention in Athen, AL. I think that he may also have a couple that feature him exclusively but I am not sure.

Fiddlers in Texas think very highly of Bill’s playing. When I knew him he had pretty much stopped playing contest style and was more known for playing tunes like those in Cole’s, especially the hornpipes. I once asked him to play Tom and Jerry and he gave me a sour look, like boy don’t bother me with that junk, but then played six or seven of the prettiest variations on that tune that you would ever want to hear. But I never asked him to play a contest-type piece again!

I can still see and hear in my mind the exact point where I became so taken with Bill’s fiddling. There was a piano player, a concertina player, and Bill on the fiddle, and they were playing a medley in the key of A – one of the tunes was definitely The Electric Hornpipe. I was just hypnotized by his bowing and the cascade of clear, distinct, and steady notes that he was producing. To this day, I think that moment stands out as being the most riveting musical instant of my life.

I had been playing fiddle about a year and Bill was the best person around that I could find to learn from. So some of the first tunes I ever played were those real notey hornpipes with such crazy titles. And I thought everybody played those tunes. I realized later what a limb I was out on when I left Houston and moved back eastward – I sure got some funny looks from some of the fiddlers I crossed paths with.

Every once in a long while, though, I meet somebody who likes that type of playing. I guess it’s like being in a foreign country and finding somebody who speaks your language. I see that a goodly number of them are in the OTFR as being played by Bob Walters and Cyril Stinnett. Ed

Yes, I came across it many years ago. I believe the York County Historical Society (York, PA) still sells the autobiography – very inexpensive. It is one of the earliest show biz accounts from the USA. The dork who wrote the intro was a theater type interested only in board strutting, so he had little understanding of the other facets of Durang’s career. BTW, it was his son, Ferdinand Durang, who in a Baltimore tavern set to music Francis Scott Key’s poem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Dear Sir, I was a good friend of Pete McMahan and Sarah for many years. I have been an old-time fiddler most of my life but have not played the fiddle or kept in touch for 10 or 12 years. I played and judged at Yankton,South Dakota many times with Pete. I am ashamed to say that I did not know he had passed away until I was reading on your web site. How long has Pete been gone? I knew and played music with Gene Wells, Lyman Enloe, Taylor, “Pop” Hoyle and others, their likes will not be seen or heard again. I have started to get back to playing the fiddle again, I remember the tunes if I can just get the fingers to do that also. I played probably at least 90% of the tunes on your list of Missouri tunes so I guess I could have called myself a “Missouri style” fiddler. I remember getting some people upset with an article I wrote concerning Texas style contest fiddling. It was published in 1983 in National Fiddler Magazine, written to Sonny Osborn. Texas style fiddling is why I got away from the contest scene , then my good picking buddy {father-in-law} passed away and I just sort of put the fiddle in the case and set it in the closet. I know now I should never have done that. Hopefully I can get back some of the music I layed aside, Old Time Fiddling-the best there is! Sincerely, Harry A. W.

Hi my name is flap joe, I’m from Canada, recently I got my hands on an old fiddle and I want to learn to play it. I have been trying on my own but I need a few tips on how to start, I dont even know how to tune it up yet, but I will learn. I have been a guitar player most of my life, and yes I am a big bluegrass fan, I first started listening to bluegrass about 7 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Anyway do you know of any great sites that I can learn to play, or any tips that you can give me, thank you. Your information is greatly appreciated.

We thank you for your time this past weekend. I look forward to working with you on the Christeson materials. I checked the web site for the Fund for Folk Culture and, unfortunately, I did not see any grant possibilities for preservation? I wonder if they have other grants that were not advertised on their site? I guess we may be back to the Grammys or the MO Secretary of State’s Office for funds. I’ll let you know if there any new developments. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you on the 28th of April, or thereabouts. Thanks!

Hi Charlie! Just happened across your Missouri fiddling website while looking up another band and thought I’d say hello. Geezer57, is it? Come now, we’re not ready for geezer status yet.

Great site, by the way, with the midi files et al. I’m going to have to see if we can add a few new tunes to our repertoire. Our band has changed around a bit lately. I’ve improved considerably on piano. You may or may not be aware that Jeff is now my ex – walked out on me when he turned 50 about 1 1/2 years ago for a younger woman. So he’s not in the band anymore. We had a great mandolin player, pretty good fiddler in our band who unfortunately is moving this month to Japan. But he found a replacement fiddler who is a classically trained violinist that has played around with Irish. She seems to have an easier time playing Missouri style, notey tunes instead of the more Southern shuffle-bowing double stopping ones, so I’m going to definitely introduce her to your website. So, keep up the good work, hope you are finding lots of opportunity to play and to find and learn new tunes from old sources. If you’re going to be a teacher at any fiddle camps anywhere, let me know, maybe I can send our fiddler to learn from you. Happy fiddlin’, Martha W.

Charlie, Well the site is really good and as I get familiar with the standard fiddle tunes I will surly enjoy it more. I think that I can transpose the regular sheet music to something I can play. I am so new at this that what I wanted was orange blossom special and called it foggy mountain. I know that some of the songs I am asking for is like when my guitar students ask to plat Free Bird or Stairway to Heaven but that’s what my wife wants to hear so if she can put up with all of the squilling I will try and learn them. Thanks, Steve

I am getting married October 20th and am looking for a fiddler to play at the ceremony. I have no names and I am lost in trying to find someone. Do you have any names and numbers of anyone that plays the fiddle. The ceremony will be just outside of St. Louis. I appreciate any of your help. THANK YOU — Teresa

I have been searching for some time now to find someone to play fiddle for our country band. We are at this time a 5-piece band and look to be playing out in the next couple of months. Our interests include classic country from artists such as Merle Haggard, Mel McDaniel and David Coe to “newer” artists like Alan Jackson and George Strait. A portion of our song list, approximately 20%-30% will be newer top-40 country that we hand select. Also, we are including some rock n’ roll for a little spice, mainly classic and oldies. Any help you all could give me would be greatly appreciated. As a side note we are located in the St. Louis area. Thank You much. Derek M. B.

I am desperately trying to find a copy of Wade Ray Down Yonder The Country Fiddlers. RCA Victor 1967. I would like to give this to my father for Christmas. Where could I purchase a copy? Cathy H.

Hi my name is Rob N. I would like to get my hands on the LP’s (or hopefully CD’s) that are the companion to the Old Time Fiddler’s repertory by R.P. Christeson. Do you know if it still available for commercial sale? I look forward to hearing from you on this matter. cheers, Rob

Our church, St. Joseph in Bonne Terre, MO sponsored a fiddler’s contest during our annual festival. It fell by the wayside with the death of the man who ran it. But now, after a couple of years, some of would like to bring ti back. The festival is June 23 in Bonne Terre. I would like to know if you know of anyone in thiss area that might be of help in getting this going. Also noted there is a book on how to run one of these… let me lnow how to get a hold of that if you tink it would be of value. Joe L.

Hi – Hope your page grows and prospers – It certainly will be important. Can you tell me how to find out more about Earl Collins? I have an early recording of him. Thanks. Dave L.

Any idea of how to find a copy of Howard Marshall’s “Now That’s a Good Tune!” or “Fiddling Missouri?” Thanks.

Sent Charlie an e-mail some time back requesting help on finding a fiddle teacher for my 12 year old Grandson. We’re looking for one in or around St. Charles, MO, but haven’t found one yet. Right now, he’s taking lessons (just started) from Jeremy Brown in South County, but it’s a LONG drive to his place. Any St. Charles suggestions?

I would like to add my name to your Missouri Fiddler’s page. My name is Donna K.. My grandmother grew up with Lyman Enloe and our families remained friends. As I was growing up he would come to our home about once every two months for jam sessions and I would learn many songs from him. I am originally from Centertown, MO but now live in Wardsville, MO. I currently play in a local country band called Shiloh but also do many bluegrass functions around our home town. I am the principal second violinist in the Jefferson City Symphony. I also give fiddle lessons and currently have 3 students. Donna R.

I’m interested in planning a fiddling contest during the Macon County Flywheel Reunion. This is always held the last full weekend in July. We have already had our show this year but planning ahead for next year. Could you tell me what it would take to organize this? Thanks! Chad P.

HELLO! I have only been around playing for 15 years would you add me to your list. “PLEASE” I wont charge you any thing for it. Carolyn E. (fiddler) while I am here, do you all have a “FREE” listing of MO or ILL Fiddle contest?

Fiddler and guitar player Comments = Hey Charlie, Vesta Johnson’s grandson here you can add me to the list. Steve H.

Do you have any information on this man? My father is writing a book about the blind fiddler Jehile Kirkuff and Mr. Christeson is part of it. He would like any info about RP Christeson and Delores DeRyke if you have any on her.

Good day Mr. Walden. I’ve really been enjoying your two websites, very cool. I was wanting to order a couple CD’s from you. I just wanted to know where I needed to send my money to, and if it would be okay if I sent cash. Also, how long would the wait be??? I was needing some good music to keep me going on my drive to a contest at Yankton, South Dakota. Nuttin’ better than Missouri Fiddlin’. Thanks in advance. I am a sixth generation Missourian, moved to Texas at age twelve. My dad started the Texas State Championship Fiddlers Frolics, and I now run it. Want you to know that we now have a division for out-of-state fiddlers that will have prize money comparable to that of Weiser’s Grand National. Expect to have full info (with updated prize money) on our website “” by Friday. Would love to have Missouri fiddlers show up. Regards, John (from Franklin County, MO, grandson of John Edward Fryer, great grandson of Jesse Fryer/Friar, fiddlers)

After looking again at the 2 vol Clipper Ship books, I may have to rethink my statement that no other ship names coincide to tune titles in Cole’s.

There may, indeed, be more. ‘Witch of the Wave’ is merely the most obvious. — Al

WITCH OF THE WAVE 1854 JOHN RICHARDSON 270 ton brigantine trader


Boston Daily Atlas, May 19, 1851.

The New Clipper Ship Witch of the Wave, of Salem.

This beautiful vessel, since her arrival here, has been visited by thousands, and so far as we know, has been an object of unqualified admiration. Accustomed as our people are to see in some of our sharpest vessels, but modifications of the general model, it may be considered highly complimentary that a ship, so different from what has been considered the usual standard, should be awarded any praise whatever. Any person conversant with nautical affairs must be aware that several of our finest clippers were far from being generally approved; not because they were deficient in either beauty or strength, but because they were different from what we had been accustomed to see. The invariable remark was – “Beautiful vessels to look at, but too sharp to pay.” The profitable freights obtained by many of these sharp vessels, however, have partially dissipated this idea, and now a new clipper is not universally regarded as a costly experiment. The splendid appearance of the Witch of the Wave has made us forget our prejudices, and to receive her with pleasure – to regard as an honor to the genius and skill of her designer and builder, and the princely liberality of her owners, for, to the taste of the owners, who after all have to foot the bills, must be aware the prime credit for having such a costly vessel built.

…..A female figure, beautiful as an houri, and placed to correspond with the spring of the bow, ornaments her forward. The figure is represented in flowing vestments of white, fringed with gold; and she bears aloft a scarf, half unfurled by the breeze. From her pedestal descend branches of gold, which also encircle the hawsehole. Her name, in gilded letters, is on the monkey rail, close abaft the bowsprit; and on the end of each cathead is a gilded head; but the most remarkable features of her ornamental work forward are her eyes, one glowering from each bow, as if scanning the foaming deep before. As she is planked up to the bowsprit, without either head or trail boards, no matter how heavily she may plunge, when she rises, like a duck, she can raise no water with her.

…..The elegant ease with which her bow is carried up, is continued in her gradual sheer along the side, until it terminated in the stern, the outline of which is perfectly oval. Her run is rounded, and the planking of the sides and quarters is moulded to correspond. She has no apparent transom outside, but the stern is at once from the rudder case, with a slight rake aft as it rises. Upon it is a representation of her name, floating in a shell, with an imp, on the larboard side, riding a dolphin, and on the opposite side other members of the finny family sporting in the sea. Above these is her name, in gilded letters, and below it her port of hail, with a star on each side and a wreath of roses below, the whole enclosed in a gilded frame. The principal figures are painted white, relieved with gilding on either side. No pains has been spared to render the stern a perfect picture. Her name, in gilded letters, is also placed on her bulwarks, between the main and mizen rigging.

…..She is planked up flush to the planksheer, and is painted black outside, with a red water line along the edge of her copper, and she is coppered up to 18 feet 9 inches forward, and to 19 feet 8 inches aft.

…..This cabin is wainscotted and grained, and forms an ante-room to that abaft it, which is the great cabin. Here is splendor. Gothic panels of bird’s eye maple, with frames of satin wood, relieved with zebra, mahogany and rose wood, enameled cornices edged with gold, and dark pilasters, with curiously carved and gilded capitals, and dark imitation marble pedestals.

Abaft it is another cabin, finished in the same style, and having three panels of mirrors forward, and another mirror aft in the rudder-casing. The transom is fitted as a semi-circular sofa, covered with rich velvet. Her after cabins contain seven large state-rooms, and two water closets, and their furniture, together with that of the state-room, is truly magnificent.

With large sky-lights, deck and side-lights in every state-room, perforated ventilators between the beams, the whole cabin arrangements are light and abundantly ventilated. Among many minor arrangements in her cabin is a neatly designed medicine closet in the great cabin, and also in the forward cabin speaking tubes which lead to the captain’s and mates’ state-rooms from the deck, so that any of these gentlemen may be called without leaving the deck. She has also a library of over one hundred volumes.

…..The arrangements of her cabins, beautiful and complete as they are, but correspond with her other details. Everything connected with her is a nearly perfect as could be desired.

…..The inside of the rack rail is covered with yellow metal, and the bulwarks, house, &c., are painted white. The house in the front of the cabin is beautifully wainscotted, its top ornamented with carved cornices interwoven with gilding, and it has a stained glass window in front. Her deck room is truly magnificent, and the style of its arrangement admirably adapted for working ship.

…..A view of her decks from either end is a sight worth seeing, every detail is so perfect, so beautifully arranged.

…..She is a full rigged ship.

…..Aloft she looks splendidly. Her long mast-heads, crowned with gilded spires and balls, her truly proportioned yards and neat rigging, set her off to great advantage. Whatever credit may be due to the builder, and all who have seen her will admit that he has earned high praise, still the mind who designed and superintended her equipment, and the owners who have so liberally furnished the means, must not be lost sight of. To the owners’ taste the mechanics are indebted for this opportunity of displaying their skill.

,,,,,Although this is a long description of the Witch of the Wave, still there are many details about her which we have not noticed, but which will attract the attention of nautical men. No written description can convey even a fair idea of her. To use a common, but appropriate phrase, — to be appreciated she must be seen.

Capt. Hunt, one of our most experienced pilots, and a gentleman who has paid more than ordinary attention to every kind of model which has come under his observation, speaks of her in the highest terms. From what we saw her perform on the passage from Portsmouth to Salem, he feels confident that she will fully answer the expectation of her owners. From our own knowledge we can state that her commander, Capt. Millett, is every way qualified to do her justice. He will make her perform her best.

She was built at Portsmouth, N.H., by Mr. George Raynes, and is owned by Messrs. Glidden & Williams, and Twombly & Lamson, of Boston; John Bertram, of Salem, and Flint, Peabody & Co., of San Francisco, and is intended for the California and China trade. Her spars were made by Messrs. Martin & Fernald, and were rigged by Mr. Harrat; Mr. Walker made her sails; Mr.

Wilson executed her joiner work, all of Portsmouth; and Mr. J.W. Mason, of this city, designed and carved her ornamental work. Like a good artist, his last work is his best. She is now laden, and will sail this day for San Francisco. Never was a ship more appropriately named — she is indeed the Witch of the Wave.


The Maritime History Virtual Archives | The Boston Daily Atlas.


May 15th The master of Witch of the Wave was not satisfied with the amount raised from the sale of the Pet, so he made the following statement:

“…At about 8.45pm on 26th (Sept 1868) she (Witch of the Wave) was still at anchor in the Downs in a proper berth with her regulation riding light duly exhibited and burning brightly when she was run into by the schooner Pet.

The said vessel Pet was underway at the time of the said collision….”

“In the said collison, the Witch of the Wave’s bowsprit was entirely carried away, her cutwater was damaged her bows were ??? and started etc.”

“I have paid or caused to be paid for repairs to the said Witch of the Wave the sum of 123.11s.5d and for expenses of discharging, surveys, protest, towage and pilotage and port charges and other necessary disbursements the sum of 104.3s.3d and charge for demurrage of 71.13s.8d. The expenses far exceed the sum of 178.10s.11d, the net proceeds from the sale of the Pet.

Liverpool 15th May 1869”


[PRO HCA19/458. Instance Papers, Series IV 1860-1876, No. 4696]


Charlie, Thanks for the tip on removing excess rosin. I checked out your website on old-time playing in Missouri. Interesting stuff. I was especially intrigued by your description of a French fiddle tradition in the southeastern part of the state. Within the past two years, I have acquired about a dozen traditional Quebec CD’s, most of which feature the fiddle prominently and most of which I like a great deal. I looked on your website’s discography page and could find nothing in terms of recordings for the four French fiddlers mentioned on the history page (Joe Politte, Charlie Pasha, Ethel Goff and Roy Boyer).

Do you know if any recordings of these folks or other (presumably deceased) French fiddlers from Missouri are in existence? Also, do you know when the French fiddle tradition in that region died out (as, sadly, your web site implies it has)?

I have been interested in my family genealogy for several years and only recently discovered that my great-great-great grandfather and his wife moved from Ohio before the Civil War to settle in Moniteau County, near the small town of California, west of Jefferson City. I think there might be some folks still living in that area who share my surname, but I’m not sure. I hope to visit that area this summer and see if I can locate some graves and historical info. There’s long been a legend in our family that one of our ancestors was a double spy in the Civil War, but I don’t know how I’d go about finding out the truth of that or pinpointing the individual! Thanks, Jacob G. — Hays, KS

Hi, I play violin and I have some questions about the violin. If all of the strings are in tune isn’t it true that when you play the fourth finger on a string that it should sound exactly like the open string next to it as long as you have the correct fingering? Is it not a good idea to tune a string by trying to make it sound exactly like that same note played by the fourth finger on the previous string assuming that the fingering is correct on that string and that that string is in tune? I would appreciate any feedback that you could give me. Thanks.

Here are some excerpts from the interview Liz and I did with Bob Holt on December 21, 1999. Some great stories…

“Why I was born right out here in the old house; place where it’s fell down? That’s where I was born, and I’ve lived here all my life except for about twelve and a half years I live in Iowa.”

“My grandfather moved on the adjoining farm here in 1889. My mother’s folks moved in the area in 1855. My grandmother could remember the, she was about eleven years old when the Civil War was going on. She could remember the different soldiers, either side, lived at their place….

They hid all their staples, all their goods, you know, that they could carry off. And they had some bee hives. They even hid them in a ditch, and covered them over with brush, piled. Kind of camouflaged it with brush so the bees could get in and out, but you couldn’t see it, because the soldiers would take anything they could eat or wear, use, you know, in any way.”

“This was the main road if you wanted to come from McClurg to Ava. This was the main road that was traveled, went through Rome and Smallette and all these little small places, which was thriving little communities at that time. Usually there was a doctor at Smallette, there was a doctor at Rome, and blacksmith shops, and, you know, they was just little villages.”

“I never remembered a time when I wasn’t crazy about music, always. As long as it was going on, I was right there around it, you know…. My uncle played banjo, and he had people played with him, would come play with him, you know, or he’d go play with somebody. My dad never missed any music anywhere. He was always wherever there was some music, and he’d take me along with him. And then my grandma had a huge record collection of the early records, like in the twenties, from the twenties, and there was, she had all kinds of records. There was all the old, like Skillet Lickers stuff, and early recordings of that type of music, and she also had a lot of novelty tunes, funny kind of like vaudeville stuff you know. And also a lot of foxtrots and Charlestons, and just, I had a bunch of older cousins that was girls that hung out at my grandma’s all the time. And, of course, the girls danced all these dances, you know, from the flapper era.”

“Oh, I can remember medicine shows, for instance. There was a, there was still on some kind of an old truck, you know, an old Model T or something, there would be a traveling medicine show come to town. My dad always found them, anything like that, you know, where there was a little music and some dancing. They usually had some blackfaced dancers, at least one, and somebody that could play something, when they made their pitch and sold their liniment and their cure-all. And I was small enough, I remember my dad would set me up, I’d set straddle of his neck, up on his shoulders so I could see over the crowd.”

[Drew: Did they have any fiddle players or banjo players with that troupe?] Yeah, sure, yeah.”

“My family just wasn’t a singing family… [but] my mom used to sing me old ballads and stuff around the house. Like I can remember her singing Barbara Allen and Little Mohee, a lot of the old stuff.”

[Drew: Did you ever take an interest in singing yourself?] “Oh, shoot yeah. I thought I was a great singer at one time. I’d go riding a horse or something around, and go in some place, or out doing something by myself, I’d just sing [but not in front of people]…. I always was too smart for that. I had too good a ear. I knew, I could imagine all I wanted to, but when it come right down to it, I knew better, you know…. [One time] Bealer asked me for a, about the words for some old song one night, and I happened to know this particular verse, and I sung, kindly, sung them to him. He said, “that’s-,” he said, “Thank you; I’m glad to get those words, but,” he said, “next time you just, just talk them to me.” I thought that was kind of a low blow, after me being good enough to give him the words. [More laughing]

[Regarding music] Well, it’s been one of the main sources of entertainment and relaxation, if you can, to me, I don’t know how you call it relaxation, but it’s a different form of heavy labor, anyway, we’ll put it that way. And back, back when the transportation was bad, you know, we couldn’t go anywhere, people in this country didn’t, back in the twenties, the majority of them didn’t have cars, they had what, you know, they could ride a horse or drive a wagon or a hack or a buggy or something, and that was about the limit of it. And this was a thing that they could have within a community, where they could get to it, and it didn’t cost a whole lot, and it was evidently, there’s just nothing any more enjoyable than dancing to people that likes to dance. And I know from my standpoint there’s nothing more enjoyable than playing for a dance, and making people dance and helping them enjoy that feeling. I get my feelings from watching them enjoys theirself, you know. And it’s just been a, it’s played a very very important role. We didn’t have radios until I was, I never heard a radio till I was probably five years old, 1935. And just imagine on before that, that they didn’t have any. And they could go to a music party, or to a dance, and hear music, get together and visit, and do all that within their means, you know, without spending a lot of money, which they didn’t have. And it was a, people was proud of that, they, it was part of their heritage. It had come down, as long as anybody had been around here, they’d been doing that, and they thought it was the thing to do, and loved doing it. A lot of the really hard-nosed church people didn’t do it, but if you got to play around where they was at, most of them would pat their feet pretty hard, I’ve noticed. They all liked it, and they liked hard fast music, driving music. They don’t like, for the most part I mean, the slow more intricate hornpipes and things like they play in the north. That doesn’t set these people a-fire. They want the hard driving faster-beat music that winds them up, gets their blood to pumping.”

[Regarding hearing his first radio] “I had a neighbor lives over the hill, just a mile from here if you go across through the woods, had moved back here from Oklahoma in 1935. And they had a radio. And they’d been telling us about the Grand Ole Opry, you know, Saturday night. So me and my two next brothers, Howard and John, rode our old mule, Old Pete, rode him over the hill to the neighbors to listen at the Grand Ole Opry. I can remember that’s the first time I ever heard the radio. It was, I think, it was 1937 before we got one.”

“There still wasn’t very many guitars, and there wasn’t many good guitars. The ones they had was down at the, where it joined on, it’d be three quarters of an inch off of the strings, would be off of the neck, you know. And every time they changed, every time they played in a different key, they’d have to change tuning, because it would only note in about three things at once.”

“And then at the fair. Usually always some music at the fairs, live music, somebody playing. I remember the first Hawaiian steel guitar I ever seen, a little bitty single-necked thing a feller held on his lap, and I thought that was really something, you know, that- [Douglas County Fair]…. And they always had a dance floor for square dancers, you know. And there’s always the fiddle and banjo, and sometimes a guitar playing for that. That went on constantly… at every picnic or anything. That was the main attraction at anything. Every, all these little stores, post office communities, villages I’m talking about, they would sometime during the summer, they would have a picnic, they called them…. [They’s have an] annual little picnic. They’d have some ice cream probably, and have lemonade, and something to eat. They’d sell that. A few simply games that they played…. [Dancing] was the big attraction.”

“At the county fair, now, they had the bigger rides like the Farris wheels and stuff like that. These picnics didn’t have that. Once in a while they had a swing, you know, just a swing with a lot of seats on it. They used to have one up here at Squires that was pulled with a horse. There was one horse moved, pulled in the middle, hooked to thing that had gears on it, and that would operate. There’d maybe be a dozen swings hung on this thing. And you’d get in that swing and this old horse would go around and around, and that of course was geared up to where it would spin that fairly fast, get you out. Wouldn’t get you way up, but it would get you out. It was pleasant, I guess. And dad said they always had two brothers would set in those. They’d let them ride free because they played the fiddles. One would play the melody, and one would play rhythm to it…. Now I never heard this myself, but he said that sound would, as they come around in the swing. You could hear it real plain, and then it’d kind of fade when they got over on the other side. Said it was really neat.”

“Used to at these county fairs they would have a competition of who was the best set, the best square dance set, and have contests you know. Somewhere I’ve got a picture, it’s in my mom’s pictures somewhere if I ever get to looking through them, of that set, that I’ve threatened to, I wish I had dug out.”

[Liz: When did wearing taps become popular?] “Really I never seen much of it until after the jiggers. There was a set on, that was the name of a set on television, on that Ozark Jubilee out of Springfield [in the 1950s], you’ve heard of it, and they had this set on it, and they used taps, and that’s really, made it popular over the country.

[Drew: By putting taps on, did it change the dancing a lot?] A little,yeah. They do more heel and toe jigging or clog-type stuff, than they do the shuffle. They used to do more of a flatfoot, more shuffle. My dad was a much smoother shuffler, dancer, than, and he done most of his dancing with the little slides.”

[Drew: Now in the dances they have some of those called do-si-does, the mixers, or the couple dances and waltzes. Did they have those when you were young?] “They had similar thing that we used to do, what they called a circle dance, where the ladies and the men line up in separate lines and go in a circle, and when the whistle blows then you get to nearest one to you for a partner. And if it’s uneven, why you wind up without a partner sometimes, and then they also make that into what they call a broom dance where you wind up dancing with a broom if you don’t get a partner. But, there’s always been waltzes, but we just didn’t have a lot of people that waltzed, or that wanted to, or that could.”

“I’ve enjoyed the house dances ever since I can remember…. [The helping-each-other-clear-land work parties]… was pretty much over by then. This was just usually a Saturday night dance…. Usually it was in a neighborhood…. There was very few cars, and it was just within about one school district or walking distance or something, you know, two or three mile. You would invite your family, relations, and neighbors. It would be a fairly, most of them was fairly closed dances.

I mean, they was private dances, and if they could keep it pretty quiet and not let it get out and let everybody know it, then they had a pretty good time. If they got out, and too many knew about it, and too many drunks showed up, then they’d be a big fight, usually…. Nearly everybody went to town on Saturday. That was about the only time they went was Saturday afternoon, and that’s usually when they’d [house dance organizers] get the dances up…. Usually [the dance would be] that night [at dark]…. They didn’t want the word out very long because if it was out very long, it got around too much.”

“[House dances would be] more so in the winter because in the summer they was busy working, and they didn’t take off much for anything then. Back then you had to work, you literally had to work just about every day.”

“A lot of times there would be a midnight supper. My mom always had one. She always cut a ham, and fried up a big bunch of ham, and eggs and stuff at midnight because she figured if she could get them to eat, you know, they didn’t drink too long on an empty stomach, and they didn’t get in too bad a shape.”

“[My father didn’t have dances at his house because] he belonged to the church at that time, him and my mom both…. [He could go to dances but] if he’d have had a dance hisself, at his house, why that would have been a different story.”

“[At a certain time of the night the kids would be shuffled back into the bedrooms]…. They’d be piled everywhere.”

“I could play tunes on a harmonica when I was four years old, playing Casey Jones and a few simple tunes…. One of our brothers had an old taterbug mandolin, you know, around here, and I fooled with that some. And then kind of got to where I thought I could play it when I was probably eight, ten, eleven. And then I ordered one out of Sears, Kay, flattop, and played it for, oh, several years. I first started playing for a group, I played mandolin…. When I first started playing with this group I was married. I was seventeen, eighteen. I was already playing the fiddle too some then, but I didn’t play it out…. There was a guy played lead guitar, and his wife played rhythm guitar and sang, and there was another feller that fiddled. Once in a while we’d have a bass player. And then this old Doc Norman was real old at that time, but he would play with us sometimes on Friday night. And then I played the mandolin…. We played at somebody’s house ever week, and we played for a lot of pie suppers, and a lot of gatherings, you know…. Didn’t play any dances…. [We played] that old stuff and early country stuff…. As far as I know, we never got paid anything…. We played probably four or five years, pretty good music for the time and the area.”

[Drew: Your father actually wanted you to play.] “Oh yeah. He’d rather I’d have been a fiddler as a doctor.”

“My dad just…, he kept trying to get me to find one [a fiddle]. I wasn’t that interested in playing it. I was doing pretty good with the mandolin, I thought, you know, and this was before I, this was when I was about fifteen. And, why, I just never done anything about it. And finally he come home one day and he said, “I run into this Martin Walker up in town,” and I knew he usually had some fiddles. He said, “I bought you a fiddle. Now you go over there and get it.” So me and my buddy went over there and got it. Got stuck while we was in there; had a hell of a time getting out. I remember that. Had to put chains on. It was rainy and muddy. And I just brought it home and started playing it.”

[Drew: Did you have other fiddlers show you?] No, I didn’t have anybody to show me. [Liz: Well you learned some tunes from your dad.] But he was whistling; he wasn’t showing me on the fiddle…. I had played the mandolin, and I pretty well knew where the notes was, see. But I’ve fought the bow all these years, and I’m still fighting it.”

“I never played in that many bands. I played with, when I was in Iowa, I played in a Country-Western band with Harley [Newberry], and that’s really about all…. I knew them down here, but not well, not real well. In fact, I don’t know if I even knew Harley or not. I knew his wife before he ever dated her or anything. When we was kids I knew who she was. But I don’t think I had really met him till I got up there [to Iowa] because he had been in California, his folk had been, for quite a while. I just, a neighbor, a fellow that I lived close by, knew Harley and went to school with him, and knew where he lived, and knew he had a band and everything. And told me about him, and he told Harley about me. And he invited me over one Saturday, and I went over, and we played that afternoon, and he had a gig to play that night. He said, “Why don’t you go with us?” So I went. I just started playing with them. He said, “Why don’t you just start playing with us?” [That was in 1956]

[Drew: What percentage of the tunes you learned were tunes that were played around here from, by other fiddlers, and which would you say are learned from the 78s?] “Oh God, that’d be, that would hard because a lot of the tunes I learned from fiddlers around here they had learned from early recordings also. And now I have no way of knowing, you know, which ones was which, which ones they had learned from old 78s and which ones they had learned from the older fiddlers. But they was all, these tunes was common. I mean, everybody that played the fiddle very much, that play-, some of them didn’t play over one or two tunes. A lot of fiddlers just played one or two tunes, mostly. But really, the fiddlers that played any amount of tunes, there was a good part of them from, that was just passed down, you know. And the ones I learned from my dad’s whistling, a lot of them was just passed down…. I know the tunes, but he didn’t know the names of them, of most of them. Now I could, The Little Dutch Girl was one that I always heard him whistling, Wolves A-Howling, Hop Up Kittypus, and the one I call Flop Old Turkey Buzzard, oh just any number, most of those older standard tunes, old fiddle tunes, The Eighth of January and all those common tunes.”

“They [Harold and John] was two as good a square dancers as ever come out of this part of the country, or anywhere else. They was great dancers, and liked better than nearly anybody. John used to work, for a period of time he work in Witchita, and they was having a good dances up at Ava every, I don’t remember if it was every Saturday night or every two weeks or something like that, and he would drive from Witchita, Kansas, after work on, what, and be in Ava in time for the dance. I don’t know what is it, five hours? Three and a half or four? I don’t know, it’s a long hard drive.”

[In Iowa] “Oh, I done just about everything. I worked in a lot of different machine shops, and quarries. And, the main, longest job I had was a cabinet-maker. And then I become a barber, went to barber school, and I had my own barber shop… [for}] five years…. I never liked to work for anybody. I was always too independent to want to work for anybody. I thought if I could get to, you know, barber, I would be working for myself. But I found that I was working for the public then. And that was worse yet than working for a single boss, as everybody was your boss.”

[Regarding square dancing and fiddle music] It was tapering off in the fifties; let me put it that way. And then you got to remember these people was getting older, the ones that really was into it, and the younger people up in the fifties, late fifties and sixties, got into a whole new field of music. And there was very little dancing going on in this country when I started, when me and Edna Mae started working on this and getting these dances going…. in the seventies. There was the annual dances like Hootin’ and Hollerin’, and there was usually one or two in Ava a year, and that was about it. And I’ve built these others pretty much since then, not by myself, understand, I mean, I’ve had a lot of help…. Edna Mae’s played a big role in it. Gordon McCann played a big role in it, in getting us acquainted with the people at, from cultural heritage, from the Missouri Arts Council, and so forth.”

“Lonnie [Robertson] would, he’d be the first to tell you that he wasn’t a square dance fiddler. And that’s why most of the fiddlers wonder, I’ve had them ask me, “Are you comfortable with being called a square dance fiddler?” I say, “Yeah, that’s when I’m the most comfortable because I can believe that, you know.” And I’ve been told that so much that I kind of think I must be. And I think it’s great. That’s what I wanted to be. To me, it’s, if you can’t make people dance, what’s the point. I mean, I like pretty music for a while, but it gets boring after a while.”

[Regarding his general distaste for fiddle competitions] I actually entered one contest at the Douglas County Fair, when I first come back here, when I first move back here from Iowa, and I won the contest, and I felt like there was two other good fiddlers in the contest. And I actually felt like they was both better than I was. I didn’t feel like the, I felt like I win it because the judges happened to know me and like me better, you know, or something. And right then I decided that contests wasn’t the way to go. I didn’t want, I didn’t turn down the money [laughs], I think it was twenty-five dollars, but I never wanted to play another contest, and I never have.”

Drew B. Springfield, MO

Dear Friends – I’m new to fiddling and I’m having fun learning Westphalia Waltz from printing out your arrangement. Now I’m also looking for the music for Kentucky Waltz. Do you think you might have it available on your site soon? You have certainly done quite a bit of work. Good job! Keep it up. I think you must be helping quite a few folks. Have you tried magnets for health?

Charlie; My family is from the Keytesville area, and I’d like to know if you know of any old fiddlers or tunes that came from that county. I once got ahold of Belden’s folk song collection and was disappointed to find songs from each of the 7 counties that border Chariton, but none from the county itself. Have you ever heard of Bill Sharon “South Chariton County Fiddler”? — Thanks for any help; R.D.L.

Charlie, I was wondering if you have transcriptions for all the tunes you have listed and if so what would it take to get some of the transcriptions. I wasn’t able to find Recommended Mossouri/midwestern Fiddle Recordings List page that was mentioned in the FAQ about finding recordings of this kind of music. I would appreciate some information about where to purchase this type of music, especially on CDs. Thanks — Duane R.

Mr Walden, How are you? Some time ago, I saw a film, called O Brother Where Art Thou, filled with the most wonderful music. I had not realised that this music was so powerful, I myself prefer classical or Irish. So when I saw the ad for Allegheny Echos playing bluegrass for the first time in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. I thought give it a go. I loved it, I have never ever heard playing like yours and it just blew me away. Although I felt I couldn’t get up and dance, my blood was bubbling away. Would it be possible to have a signed photo ? I wish I’d had time to talk at the concert, but I had to run for my lift home. I look forward to discovering more about your music, it was a real event for me to see you, and I’ll be hunting down your cd’s. Can’t wait for the photo! — Frances R. N. Ireland

Hi, My sister picked up a used 2 record set “Now That’s a Good Tune!” from Missouri OT fiddling. My daughter has learned fiddling and treasures the record. Unfortunately, several tunes at the start of each record are unplayable because of warpage. I’ve tried a few searches to see if it is available on CD somewhere, but with no luck. I found your website, and wondered if you could suggest how I might obtain it. We live in California, but my mother is from Missouri and it is her musical heritage that is a part of us. Carolyn F.

Hello from Florida . Love the website. I am enclosing a picture of Cyril Stinnett with my father, Warren Spills, at one of the Graham fiddle contests. The photo was probably taken in 1977. Another souvenir that I have from that day is a cassette that my Dad made of the contest, as well as a recording of Cyril playing solo under the shade of a nearby tree. My father says he remembers being amazed at the sounds that Cyril was able to get to come out of a fiddle. – Gerard S.

Dear Fiddleboy: I’m a fiddler, old-time music collector, and writer and am currently getting interested in the music of Leonard B. Smith, the one-armed fiddler. Are copies of any of your archival recordings of him available for sale? The reason I’ve become interested is that I happen to be friends with his daughter. I hope to interview her in relation to my research and possibly prepare an article for one of the fiddle magazines. Thanks for any help you can offer. Sincerely, Bob H.

I have a photograph of my great grandfather and his band in front of a KCMO radio mike, do not know the year. At any rate he was a fiddler in Missouri and supposed to be one of the best. The title on the picture is Doc Brown and the Medicine Boys. He was Doc Brown. The family story is that his parents wanted him to play classical violin, but he loved to play the local dances instead. He became a rounder but played contests and won frequently. Now my daughter, who is twelve, is a fiddler. I wanted to tell her about him, but we know no more. I went through your website, but did not see his name. Have you heard of him? If so could you give me some info? Thank you, Corey C.

Hello charlie, I ran across your website today and it seems like your the person to talk to about fiddling. I just moved to the st. louis area from Montana to play with a country band here and was wondering if there is a fiddling association still in missouri. I’m interested in getting to know some of the players in this state. I used to be very active in Montana association. Jim Ed Hodges former Montana St. North Dakota St., & International fiddle champion.

I am looking for Contest results for 1900- 1905. I am looking for a Mamie Bugh in these results. We have heard that she possibly won during one of these years. She is my Great Grandmother. Can you help me? Thank-you Margaret C.

One of my students typed in my name (Polly Burre) and it brought up your website! I was named after my Dad. The website inspired a great discussion with my homeroom students (high school sophomores) and brought back a lot of fond memories of fiddlin’ contests. I bookmarked the site and look forward to viewing it in the future! Great site!

Dear Missouri fiddling, My father is the son of the late one-armed fiddler, Luther Caldwell. Dad was recently given a printout from your website about George Morris, who he remembers from his childhood. The article has a sidebar with headings like “Newspaper clippings,” “78 rpm disc recordings,” and “Partial list of tunes George Morris played.” I was attempting to find out more information for Dad about the 78 disc recordings and partial list, but on my screen those topics do not link. Can you help? Many thanks! Sharon (Caldwell) Hudnell
Is there a website for the msotfa? If not, do you have some contact information you could share with me to become a member? Thanks, Lisa Twidwell

Hey Charlie! One of the tunes that I learned from you was “Old-Tyme Schottische”. I still play it today. I have a wedding dance in IA coming up by the middle of next month and I need to get lead sheets to the musicians who normally don’t play Old Time Music. Do you have a set of jazz chords to that tune? It would be so helpful to have them if you do! Thanks, Charlie! — Ed B.
Hey Charlie!! It’s Alita Stoneking. Just wanted to say this was a terrific website and I learned a lot. Thank you for this information. Sincerely, Alita Stoneking

Hi! I found your tenor guitar web site via google. Thanks! But it seems that this page was never finished as you intended. If you know of any materials available regarding chord (and melody) fingering on the tenor guitar, I’d be grateful if you’d pass along some pointers. Me, I’m a chromatic button accordion player, and to expand my horizons while remaining “wierd”, I’ve now bought a tenor guitar, which I plan to tune GDAE (like an octave mando, with suitable string gauges). (Or perhaps FCGD, and then add a capo on the second fret to move it to GDAE.) At the same time I’m trying to learn to play a mandolin, so it’ll work together, maybe. Although all the theory should be the same, optimal chord voicings and fingerings may differ due to the different scale lengths? Thanks! M.

By dern, you boys have put together a great site. It is always nice to see good work somehow emerge from those you had assumed to be total losers. I don’t know Mike, but anyone that would associate with Possum probably gave up bathing and shaving at age sixteen. But thanks to both of you for a nice window on a wonderous musical place, and one of the nation’s best places for rich styling and great taste. Joe W.

Dear Possum, Thanks for the info on “I’m Old But I’m Awfully Tough”. A new old stock copy of this great LP will be better than the scratched-up 24 year old disks that I have now. Best Regards, Alex S.

I really liked your site. It took me back to 1975-1977 when I moved from Memphis, TN to St. Charles, MO and was first introduced to old time Missouri fiddle music by a co-worker. He gave me a two LP record set of “I’m Old But I’m Awfully Tough” by the Missouri Friends of the Folk Arts when I moved to Denver, CO. I sure would like to get another copy of it or better yet one on Compact Disk. Can you help? I can’t find the MFFA on the internet. Your MIDI selections are great but I hope that you add a lot more tunes using the WAV format. I’ve downloaded what you have and added it to many others that I got on-line from the Library of Congress colleced by John Lomax (circa 1939) and Alan Jabbour (circa 1966). Its a great way to learn and preserve old-time fiddle music. By the way, how could you fail to include Jessee James and Whiskey Before Breakfast in your top 100 Missouri fiddle tunes? Keep up the great work! Best Regards, Alex S.

Your web site is awesome!! Very cool dude! Do you program the web site in html or did you use something like Front Page? Just curious cause me and dad want to start some sort of web page. I am on dads computer so write me back at When are you coming to Nashville? I have been refering your web site to people and dad has too. Later man!—Matt W.

Hi Charlie, Thanks so much for the transcriptions. I love finding more music on the net. So glad you spoke up and thanks for the Christmas presents. Hope you have a nice Christmas too! –Judy

Hi, I stumbled across your terrific web page on traditional fiddling. Although I’m not from MO, I suspect that the music is similar to what what the old-timers used to play in my home state of IN. I can’t wait for you to finish the accompaniment section: I’m very interested in second fiddle, but can’t find anyone who does it to get them to teach me. I’ll be checking back from time to time. You have some great articles. Keep up the good work.—Tim H.

The domains,,, are all not available.–Stew

Hay man, ‘member when we broke inta pappy’s corn likker and got all stanky? Lits do it agin sumtime reel soon.

Poss, While I thoroughly enjoyed your treatise on the tenor guitar, I think its proper location on the WWW is somewhere on the jazz-pimp pages.

Nice web page. It will be really nice when you get all the stuff working. I printed out OK Redbird and London Hornpipe and listened to the slo-mo files. On AOL, when I print these things the text prints on one page and the tune on another and then it is followed by a blank page with just the headers and footers. Is this the way it is supposed to work? Don’t forget to put Duncan’s Hornpipe and Little Joe on here ASAP. 🙂 –CS

I love it!

Please remove me from your email publicity list. Thank you.

Still don’t see any links, boss! Have a great weekend!

Your web page is lookin’ good, Charlie!

Nice – now if only the link to MSOTFA worked….. (I like those beer pages.)

good to hear from you bro,nice site need more on the backups,such as Pete Stinnett or Pete McMahan’s Sister etc.Or Lena Hughes

How would you spend a $20,000 E*TRADE brokerage account?

I heard that Marmaduke blew the cupola off the courthouse in Hermann by mistake. I don’t know if there’s anything to that or not. You have a great setting for his hornpipe but he had to be one of the ugliest CSA generals there was. That fine part shows up everywhere for me, STRING TOWN, DEER WALK, PUMPKIN RIDGE( Ed Haley’s version of DEER WALK.) There’s no telling where that strain has been.
Thanks for forwarding your new website. Looks like it is going to be a dandy!

Possum—you stink, man! I can play rings around you with this zither.

Charlie and Mike, I like it. The only thing. Maybe my eyesight is going, but the beige color on the background of the first page is hard to read with black letters. Everything esle seems cool. The tunes with the written music is cool too. My house has one more doorknob to go.

i particularly liked the section on homebrew. you have a great start in my froth and slosh opinion.

Hi Charlie. This looks like a great website. You’re taking old time fiddling to a new modern milestone.

Yo Wichita, KISS MY GRITS, BOY!!

Possum, how ’bout a link for each of the 12 styles of Mo fiddling? each could be “The History on Little-Dixie Fiddlin’” etc. –jg

I can’t seem to find the homepage, could you send me a link.

*** Lots of Scratch-n-Dent Specials Left! ***

Great to hear from you and thanks for the information about Missouri fiddling. I just returned from Crockett, Texas and the world fiddling championship. Had a wonderful time.

Great job on the web site! Glad to have it available. A couple of small thoughts from a small-minded fiddler:1. when I printed a copy of Fiddler’s Dream directly, it printed an extra (though blank except for web address). Maybe you have left extra space at the bottom of the page (i.e., maybe the page is a little onger than necessary). ANYWAY, if you delete a line or two at the bottom of the page of each music page, it might save the users a wasted page of printer pager. I know, I know, this is trivial compared to the value of what you have made available for us. Don’t weitht this comment anywhere near as heavy as the appreciation for what you have done! 2. For those of us not familar with a particular tune, some indication of the speed or tempo and a tape or CD which includes a version similar to the one printed would be of additional value. Again, just responding because you asked; YOU DONE GOOD! Happy Fiddlin’

HI. Thanks for the www address for your terrific site. I was there, and surfed about a bit. I even added you to my ever growing list of favorites. I liked it and played some of the tunes.

dude, you forgot to include photo’s from her [Ellie Mae] appearance at the Ozark Extravaganza. The only valid connection she has to Mo fiddling. I still have a plastic beer mug from that event. –jg

HI, and back to yah, even on the same day….horrors am I still sitting here ??? I must go crack out that friendly fiddle of mine or get to work,,,hard decision fiddle or work….fiddle or work….fiddle or wor….fiddle or wor…fiddle or wo…fiddle or wo…fiddle or w…fiddle …fiddle

Returned mail: Host unknown (Name server: host not found)

Potentially a nice little website you and Poss have going. Interesting that the beer making link is one of the only active ones so far. Keep up the good work. Oh and tell Poss that the tenor guitar ain’t no part of Missouri fiddlin’. That discography looks very cool. I saw a bunch of stuff on there I’ve not heard (and some I’ve not heard of). I’m sure that’s a work in progress as there’s very little Ozark fiddling included (recordings by Bob Holt, Vesta Johnson, Fred Stoneking, Gene Goforth, Art Galbraith are conspicuously absent). But I’m sure as you boys get done with your beer, you’ll have more time to devote to the important stuff. later, JN

I came across your website, looking for info on Frank Reed, I found him listed in your discography (Reed, Frank. Old Tyme Fiddlin’. Overland, Missouri: 1976.) Do you have any more info on this man? Does he have more than this one record? Where can I get a copy? I believe I have an old cassette copy of this album.

Charlie, Thanks for the web site. Have enjoyed playing the tunes that could be printed. Keep up the good work.


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Very cool. I was visitor number 130. I think it’s time for an IPO.

Hi Charlie, Nice job with Woodchoppers. Great tune. First person I heard play it was Jake Hockemeyer, who had a monster rendition. About that in the 70s I
heard Graham Townsend play too. Then in the 80s it seemed like a lot of
people played it well — yourself, Kelly Jones, Travis Inman, Pete of
course, Cyril of course, Taylor McBaine, Johnny Bruce, John Griffin….
About that time, I got hold of some Bob Walters 50s tapes and it’s on one
of those sessions with Christeson too. Hell of a good tune and a hard one
to “get right”.

a nice start to your website! you probably don’t remember me, but I met you at fiddletunes. Good to see you on fiddle-l also! and merry christmas!

thanks for the woodchoppers. working on casey’s now. have the snowshoe, i’m encouraging everyone to learn it for echoes. i appreciate the effort. happy holidays. mike the muck

Charlie, how do I make it play up to speed.

Thanks so much for the transcriptions. I love finding more music on the net. So glad you spoke up and
thanks for the Christmas presents. Hope you have a nice Christmas too!

dude, have you seen my crib yet?
Dear Charles Walden, Thank you for ordering at!

Thanks for the tune. I think they used to talk abouit Casey, ocasionally, on the “Kitchen Klatter” program which was broadcast for many years by the same radio station. This program may still be on the air. I can remember running on to it some years ago and being surprised it was still around and being continued by descendants of the original family with the same format; kitchen table visit, recipes, family news, letters from listeners, directed toward the at home housewife. My mother used to listen to this program a lot, before television. Hope the holidays are good to you.
Shoeshoe Reel looks like a good tune, thanks. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for the message Charlie. I will be sending you a couple of tapes and would like more of your music. I especially like what you do with Woodchoppers/St Anne’s Reels. I was trying to figure out the lick on Woodchoppers on low part. Sounds like you are using some kind of double-stop — anyway it sounds cool!!. Please include a slow version so I can figure it out on Woodchoppers.

I belong to India, an entirely different culture, so I dont know much about fiddle music, but I’ve listened to some on the net, and really like it. There were a couple of questions I had, could you help me with them? Is a fiddle constructed exactly like a violin, or would there be differences? Could I get this kind of tone from an ordinary violin? (I have a violin, though I amnt too good on it!) And, could you put in a transcription of the 40 years ago waltz, which I loved?