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Story about Edn Hammons & Jack McElwain meeting in a 1909 fiddle contest

Posted by sprout333 on Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Old Fiddlers contest at the opera house last night drew forth a very good crowd considering the fact that a night session of court was being held.  There were only three contestants for the prizes offered.  Those contesting were L J McElwain, of Erbacon, Webster County, who walked 75 miles through the country to get here in time, Edmond Hammonds, of the Three Forks of Williams river, and W S Darnell, of Bartow.  The judge selected by McElwain was ruled out because he arrived a few minutes late, but before time for the contest to begin, and another judge was selected in his stead.  The contestants appeared in the order named above and each one played three selections.  For a time the hall rang with the familiar strains of Money Musk, Birdie, Soldier's Joy, Forked Deer and other old time airs.  At the conclusion of the contest the judges decided a tie between Hammond and McElwain and the money was divided evenly between them. 

Marlinton Messenger, Reprinted in Webster Echo, October 22, 1909.

3 comments on “Story about Edn Hammons & Jack McElwain meeting in a 1909 fiddle contest”

OTJunky Says:
Saturday, April 12, 2008 @11:24:53 PM

Thanks for putting this up - it's a fascinating read...


sprout333 Says:
Sunday, April 13, 2008 @2:40:05 PM

Sure.  No original research on my part -- this quote is straight from the liner notes to the original LP and then CD reissues of the Edn Hammons recordings, which are also online here:

bsed55 Says:
Sunday, April 13, 2008 @4:31:09 PM

Kind of puts things in (or adds) perspective. I heard Ernie Carpenter talk about how impressed he was with McElwain's fiddling.

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