Indiana Hoedown Field Recordings: Fiddlers

Francis Geels

Decatur - June 21, 1979, at the Geels home just west of town. Francis on fiddle with his sisters Helen Loshe on guitar and Esther Mowrey on bass. The first tune is played as learned from their uncle, Joe Geels, a left-handed fiddler. Following is another family tune from his mother's side of the family.

Decatur - November 13, 1979, at the Geels home. Francis on fiddle, Paul Tyler on guitar, and Melissa Trier in attendance. The first tune is one learned from 1930s radio broadcasts of Slim Miller, either on the National Barn Dance or the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.

Hugh Sowers - fiddle & Herman Fox - concertina

Fort Wayne - October 11, 1979, Hugh & Herman perform with The Entertainers at the Rudisill Ave. Senior Center. The group includes three guitarists: Orville Gonser, Charlie Fudge and Bob Giant. Orville and Charlie also sing.

  • Repaz Band

Arcola - October 12, 1979. The band assembled in Hugh's kitchen. After a couple of hours of playing, the three younger (by 10 to 20 years) men left, and Hugh and Herman played a few lesser heard pieces.

  • Silver Haired Daddy
  • Herman Fox
  • Comin' Through the Rye
  • Hugh Sowers
  • unnamed quadrille

Vic Rigsby - fiddle & banjo, Henry Rigsby - banjo

Cromwell - October 25, 1979. Solo fiddle and banjo at the home of a seasoned bluegrass performer. Vic Rigsby was born in Kentucky and raised in southern Indiana.

Wawaka - November 29. Vic took me to his father's house to hear Henry Rigsby frail the banjo. Vic's mother, Clella Rigsby, wanted to sing.

Adlie Hedges

Portland - October 19, 1979. Adlie Hedges on fiddle with Tom Lyons on guitar. Adlie was born in 56, Arkansas in 1938 and settled in Indiana when he was 14. His family had been migrant farm workers.

Noble Melton

Indianapolis - October 30, 1979. Noble Melton on fiddle, with his son Don on guitar, along with Terry and Mac Bellner, a husband and wife on banjo and guitar. Noble is a native of Crawford County.

William Bernard Lee

Unionville - November 8, 1979, a resident of Brown County, Bernard Lee brought his friend Bill Hardy to my apartment to record some tunes. Bernard was raised in Carroll County, Mississippi, where his family was acquainted with Willie Narmour and Shell Smith. He later moved to Indiana for work, and was a fixture at Bill Monroe's Brown County Jamboree in Bean Blossom. There he met and played with Kenny Baker

David Hall

Monticello - November 17, 1979, in the home of David Hall, a transplanted Kentuckian. A fiddler in the bluegrass band Wildwood Flowers, David learned first at home from his father, and then from other fiddlers he met during a stretch in the army. He was accompanied by two of his band mates, Marvin Flowers on bass and Mike Flowers on guitar. A father and son, the Flowers are from Colfax, Indiana.

  • Leather Britches
  • Hell Among the Yearlings
  • Poplar Hollow
  • Jerusalem Ridge

Clay "Pete" Smith

Star City - November 27, 1979. My second visit with Pete was at his home. Pete was raised in Logansport where he learned a number of tunes from Charlie Dunn. He started performing in a "boys" band sponsored by a local undertaker. From there he began a twenty year barnstorming and broadcasting career in a variety of country bands: Hoosier Cornhuskers, Prairie Pioneers, Ozark Varieties, and Golden River Boys.

Winnemac - November 11, 1979, Pete & Audrey Smith with Country Bluegrass (Larry & Teresa Edmundson). Recorded in the Edmundsons' home.

  • Skeeter in the Lowground
  • unnamed tune
  • unnamed tune