Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

51
Fiddle Lovers Online


View Mark Ralston's Homepage

Mark Ralston

You must sign into your myHangout account in order to contact Mark Ralston.


Fiddling in the news

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I started looking at old on-line references to get some info on the Ditson music publishing company and turned up some interesting newspaper clippings. 

Now I'm hooked......... for the past few months I've been sniffing out old newspaper articles mentioning fiddle contests (and fiddlers conventions, fiddler's picnics, etc.).  It is interesting to see the tunes that were "required" at the old fiddle contests, as well as the categories for fiddling prizes (oldest fiddler, oldest fiddle, biggest feet, see original post, etc.).  Numerous citations of blind fiddlers, and people who made their own fiddles.  Some events held cakewalks at which they had black minstrel bands.  One article was an apology for an event where the sponsor announced the names of the black cakewalk musicians and some of the contestants stayed away because they didn't want to compete in a fiddle contest with  blacks.

One newspaper article gave an opinion that fiddler's contests should be outlawed because they attracted a rough crowd.  One article was a blow-by-blow account of a private fiddler's contest at which a monumental fight broke out (according to the article, the sponsor served moonshine with the refreshments) and an old family feud was re-kindled.

Fiddler's contests were used for fundraising for schools, fire companies, etc.  Local businesses contributed merchandise for contest prizes (sacks of flour, butter, clothing, watches, produce).  One guy who sponsored an old fiddler's contest asked for people to attend because he was blind and had no other way to support himself (playing the sympathy card).

I came across some other interesting contests at fairs and carnivals..... "ladies nail pulling contest", numerous "ugliest man contests", etc.  It may be a function of the survival rate of old newspapers, but certain town newspapers (notably the Hopkinsville Kentuckian) had many more notices of fiddle contests and more creative / interesting write-ups of the contests.  Even in the early 1900's people viewed fiddle contests as a nice reminder of "the good old days".

I'm having a lot of fun doing this, may compile the articles into a printed collection.

Add Comment

Clifftop donation follow-up

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Add Comment

Village of Baoma, Sierra Leone

Monday, February 27, 2012 1 comment

Newest Videos


10-01-14 fiddle lower block inspection


Village of Baoma, Sierra Leone

  

see all >

Newest Music

Genre: Unknown/None Chosen
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

Genre: Old-Time
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

Genre: Unknown/None Chosen
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

Genre: Other
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

see all >

Newest Photos

see all >

www.yellowstone-jewelry.com

Playing Since: 1974
Experience Level: Purty Good

Mark Ralston has made 4 recent additions to Fiddle Hangout 

Occupation: geologist

Gender: Male
My Instruments:
http://www.yellowstone-jewelry.com/Banjos/Collection/instrument%20Gallery.htm

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Tommy Jarrell, Allen Brothers, Clarence Ashley, Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters, John Baltzell, Barter Young & Smith, Humphrey Bate, Mac Benford, Bentley Boys, Birkhead and Lane, Dad Blackard's Moonshiners, Blue Ridge Highballers, Blue Sky Boys, Bird's Kentucky Corn Crackers, Doc Boggs, Buck Mountain Band, Burnett & Rutherford, Callahan Brothers, Camp Creek Boys, Bob Carlin, Gaither Carlton, Carolina Buddies, Carolina Tar Heels, Carter Brothers & Son, John Carson, Carter family, Carter & Young, Fred Cockerham, John Cohen, Grey Craig, Kyle Creed, everyone at Clifftop, Clyde Davenport, Delmore Brothers, Hazel Dickens, Dykes Magic City Trio, East Texas Serenaders, Eck Dunford, Norman Edmonds, John D. Foster, J. P. Fraley, Freeny's Barn Dance Band, Fuzzy Mt String Band, Georgia Yellowhammers, Georgia Wildcats, Ted Gossetts String Band, Grayson & Whittier, Grinnell Giggers, Gray & Nelson, Hale & Derry, Ed Haley, John Hammond, Edden Hammons, John Hartford, Hickory Nuts, Highwoods, Willard Hodgins, Hollow Rock String Band, Tommy Jarrell, Oscar Jenkins, Jimmy Johnson's String Band, Grandpa Jones, Karl & Harty, Alfred Karnes, Buell Kazee, Fiddlin Van Kidwell, Walt Koken, Leake County Revelers, Marty Lebenson, Charlie Lowe, Emmett Lundy, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, McFarland and Gardner, Dave Macon, J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers, Wade Mainer, Marcus Martin, Massey Family, Sam & Kirk McGee, Floyd Ming & Pep Steppers, Monroe Brothers, Byrd Moore, Narmour & Smith, NLCR, Nicholsons Players, North Carolina Cooper Boys, Chubby Parker, Phipps Holiness Quartet, Pickard Family, Charlie Poole, Pope's Arkansas Mountaineers, Dirk Powell, Prairie Ramblers, Price Family Sacred Singers, Obray Ramsey, Reaves White County Ramblers, Red Fox Chasers, Alfred Reed, Henry Reed, Ola Belle Reed, Don Richardson, Rigel's Fountain Citians, Jean Ritchie, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Fiddlin Doc Roberts, Art Rosenbaum, Rustical Quality String Band, Rutherford & Foster, John Salyer, Scottdale String Band, Mike Seeger, Shelor Family, Smiths Garage Fiddle Band, Smith's Sacred Singers, Arthur Smith, Walter Smith, Allen Sisson, Kilby Snow, Skillet Lickers, Carl Sprague, South Georgia HIghballers, Southern Melody Boys, Stamps Quartet, Stanley Brothers, Lowe Stokes, Stoneman family, Am Stuart, John W. Summers, Supertones, Taylor's Kentucky Boys, Tennessee Mountaineers, Benny Thomasson, Three Tobacco Tags, Stephen Tucker, Uncle Bud and his Plow Boys, Crockett Ward, Wade Ward, Doc Watson, Weems String Band, Whetstone Run, Whitmire Blue Sky Trio, Chris Wig, Dacosta Woltz, Tommy Jarrell

Classified Rating: (0)
Rate this Member

Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 4/5/2008
Last Visit 8/18/2019

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.5546875