Ozark Jig Dancing Demonstration

In this video from the 1995 Bethel, Missouri summer fiddle camp posted by Charlie Walden, Larry Schuyler, Gary (sorry, I don’t know Gary’s last name!), and Cathy Marriott (née Davis) demonstrate some terrific Douglas County-style jig dancing with fiddling by Bob Holt, accompanied by Kenny Applebee on guitar.

Ozarks Fiddler Ray Curbow of Blue Eye, Missouri, Dies at 79

By Howard Marshall

Raymond F. Curbow (1936-2016) grew up in the farming community of Ridgedale in Taney County, Missouri, near the Arkansas line. He later settled in Blue Eye, Missouri, in next-door Stone County, a village straddling the border with Arkansas. He was employed in his working life as a mechanic and school bus driver. Curbow was from a long line of fiddlers and musicians.
Continue reading

Happy Eighth of January!

Celebrate fiddle music’s annual holiday, Missouri style, with these recordings from Dwight Lamb, Cyril Stinnett, Bob Holt and Charlie Walden.

Dwight Lamb with Lena Hughes and Dave Copeland

Continue reading

Lloyd Lalumondier, 1924-2015

By Howard Marshall

Lloyd Lalumondier, Oct 3 2009 at Ste. Genevieve senior center dance, photo by Howard Marshall

Lloyd Lalumondier, Oct 3 2009 at Ste. Genevieve senior center dance, photo by Howard Marshall

Lloyd Lalumondier, the legendary French-American old-time, bluegrass, country, and swing fiddler from Festus, Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, died June 30, 2015 from the cumulative complications of ill health. Lloyd was 91, and had been in failing health since the death of his wife and musical partner, Georgena, in 2013. Continue reading

New Lee Stoneking Recording from Field Recorders’ Collective

Lee Stoneking with sister Sarah Bradshaw 1978

Lee Stoneking with sister Sarah Bradshaw 1978 (by Janie Milligan via the Field Recorders’ Collective site)

Field Recorders collective has released a new recording of Lee Stoneking recorded in 1985. Brad Leftwich and Linda Higginbotham made the recording while visiting southern Missouri for the annual Mountain Folks Music Festival at Silver Dollar City. The online notes feature background on the recording from Brad Leftwich and Linda Higginbotham and notes about Lee Stoneking by Howard Marshall.

Harold Leake, Callaway County Radio Fiddler (1923-2014)

Harold LeakeBy Howard Marshall

Harold Leake, the long-time fiddler with Ron Lutz and the Rooster Creek Show on Fulton’s KFAL radio (900 AM), died June 3, 2014 at the age of 90.

Mr. Leake was born near Perry, Missouri, in 1923. After service in the Army during World War II, Harold became a lifelong livestock raiser and family farmer in the Millersburg community in Callaway County (just west of Fulton). He loved farming, long walks in the woods, old tractors, and talking about cattle. Continue reading

Updated Contest Calendar for 2014

Check out the newly refreshed contest calendar for fiddle contests around Missouri.

Some of the events include a “tentative date” notice; these contests aren’t confirmed yet, so it’s best to contact the organizer before traveling if you have any question if an event is on or not. As always, if you know of an event that should be included or find an error, please tell me about it.

It’s going to be a great contest season. Several contests are relatively young or otherwise deserve a little extra attention. Bunceton, Missouri is hosting its second annual fiddle contest on the Fourth of July. The Tebbetts, Missouri contest, which used to be one of the best around, is back on the schedule for this season (thanks to Jim Buffington for bringing it back as well as the work he does on the Mokane contest). Finally, while it’s not a contest, Glasgow, Missouri is hosting a parade commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Glasgow and would like to have some music for the event.

New events will be added to the schedule as I find out about them, too, so be sure to check back.

Fiddle Sessions at Walters Boone County Historical Museum Resume

Bobby Joe Caldwell at an open house in honor of Pete McMahan held at the museum.

Dale Pauley plays guitar for Bobby Joe Caldwell at an open house in honor of Pete McMahan held at the museum.

First and third Thursdays of each month
5:30-8 p.m.

Walters Boone County Historical Museum, Nifong Park, southeast Columbia, Missouri

Emphasis on traditional fiddle music. All levels of experience are welcome, but we ask that everyone observe “jam session etiquette.” Hosted by the Boone County Historical Society. Contact the museum at 573-443-8936 or via email, or Dale Pauley at 573-815-9604.

Ray Thebeau

We’re sorry to report that Ray Thebeau, caller extraordinaire, has passed away.

Ray Theabeau

Ray Thebeau

Ray was a ring leader of the Potosi dancers and a familiar face at square dances around Missouri. He had perfected the art of teaching dances without bossing anyone around, and was a kind and gentlemanly presence behind the microphone, in a square, or sitting one out, chatting in the chairs around the floor. Dancers all over the state will miss him.

He is survived by his wife Emma, also a dancer. Visitations will be held Sunday, January 12 and Monday, January 13 in Potosi.

More information is available here.

African-American Fiddlers in Central Missouri

Map of Slave populations in Missouri, 1860, showing high populations along the Missouri river between KC and Washington, and north to  Hannibal, as well as in the bootheel.

Map of Slave populations in Missouri, 1860

In 1860, seven central Missouri counties in the area known as “Little Dixie” had slave populations of 25% or more; the geography of land along the river made it appropriate for cultivation of hemp, cotton, tobacco, and other crops demanding a high proportion of low-cost hand labor. Unlike the southern portions of Missouri, whose Anglo populations were largely upland English and Scots-Irish subsistence farmers emigrating from other mountainous regions like the Appalachians, the Missouri riverfront areas were settled by midland and tidewater southerners whose ancestors had been landholders and farmers in England, and who brought with them slaves for agricultural and domestic use.  A fascinating list of local plantations and background includes one which can be visited as part of a Missouri State Park.

Continue reading