Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Fiddle Lovers Online

Jun 12, 2024 - 11:53:26 AM
like this
118 posts since 6/26/2007

Just finished reading Bob Carlin’s new book, MY MEMORIES OF JOHN HARTFORD (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi).

If you admired John Hartford, loved his fiddling, embraced his banjoing – this is the book for you.

If you have even a modicum of interest about how bands come together, how teamwork develops, how repertoire evolves – this is the book for you.

If you have an enduring interest in bands that survived the Olympic challenges of staying on the road, performing to the last inch of energy of each musician – then buy this book because this is the book for you.

If you marvel at John Hartford’s endless energy, inventive musical thinking, ceaseless songwriting, and massive commitment to recording – this is surely the book for you.

And if your mind thrives when reading a well-wrought, skillfully constructed, heartfelt book by author/musician Bob Carlin who himself has endless energy, limitless creativity, and an iron commitment to performing and teaching – then buy this book, read this book, tell your friends about it, and read it through carefully, savoring the memories of John Hartford that Bob has captured in these pages.


Lew Stern

Jun 17, 2024 - 5:07:11 AM



2991 posts since 6/26/2007

I'm finding it a fun read. Carlin lifts the veil a bit on Hartford, but it is all good. I can't imagine Hartford's last years were easy and he was so productive.

Jun 17, 2024 - 11:25:51 AM
like this

6585 posts since 8/7/2009
Online Now

The very last recording of John Hartford was one of him playing fiddle on Ginger Boatwright’s gospel CD “Inside The Gate”. They were long time friends. As the story is told, John was is pretty bad health and his performance on the recording showed that fact. The engineer told Ginger that he would fix it. She told him in no uncertain terms - “Don’t you touch it!”

I am very pleased to say that I have one of John’s earliest fiddles. I have been told this is the fiddle that was used while John worked with Barcus-Berry to develop a pick-up for the fiddle. He had it for 20 years. Jamie told John that he was interested in learning to play fiddle and John gave this fiddle to him. Jamie had it for another 20 hears. I bought it about 13 years ago. (John Hartford's Fiddle on Ebay - Discussion Forums - Fiddle Hangout)

My wife and I are very fortunate to be good friends with Ginger and Betty Hartford. We went to Alabama to celebrate with Ginger when she was inducted to the Alabama Bluegrass Hall of Fame. We miss our friends. 

If you would be kind enough to indulge me a wee bit… the attached photo was taken back in 2012 or 2013 at the Granite Creek Bluegrass Festival in Alaska. This was Ginger’s band for this event.  Greg Booth / 1st place on dobro at Rockygrass 2006, plays with Kathy Kallick Band; Betty Harford, 1st wife of John Hartford and mother of Jamie Harford; Ginger Boatwright, the Queen Of Bluegrass, inducted into Alabama Bluegrass Hall of Fame, Grammie nominated, performed with the Dillards for years; Danny Booth, was bassist for Dirty Kitchen, IBMA nominated as bassist of the year; Mary Lynn Oudean, guitarist, singer, fiddler for many bands, mother of Angela Oudean, fiddler for Bearfoot Todd Grebe and Cold Country; Frank Solivan of Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, who has won so many awards now - can't keep up with them all, one of note - IBMA instrumental group of the year; Danny Berberich (background on dobro), long time Alaska musician and father of the lady running the show; and the guy on the right end somehow got invited to play with these extraordinary people. What a blessing. What a memory.

We moved back to Tennessee in 2014.

And I do like Bob Carlin. Book is on order. Thanks.


Edited by - tonyelder on 06/17/2024 11:27:44

Jun 19, 2024 - 8:52:23 AM



970 posts since 9/3/2022

I really wished I could read dots...A friend gifted me a hardback copy of John Hartford's Fiddle Tune way before I played fiddle. It's fun to flip through.

Jun 30, 2024 - 5:13:25 PM

6585 posts since 8/7/2009
Online Now

I got my copy of the book and just finished it.

I think Bob did an excellent job of writing about his experiences and personal insights into John's life. I enjoyed reading the book.

I had a great deal of respect and admiration for John's talents and drive. This book only fed those impressions and raised them to even greater levels.

Please let me add my voice to the number of folks who say his presence is missed! ...those shoes can't be filled!

I recommend the book, especially if John Hartford's music has had an influence on your taste in music.

Thanks Lew!

Edited by - tonyelder on 06/30/2024 17:13:52

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Fiddle Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories