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Howdy Forrester

September 26, 1974 OH61 70 min.


Fiddle player. Born March 31, 1922. Died August 1, 1987. Real name: Howard W. Forrester. Best known as a member of Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys, he played an important role in bringing Texas stylistic fiddle techniques to Nashville. Later in his career he managed Acuff-Rose Artists Corporation, a Nashville booking agency.

Interview Summary

1974 September 26
(1 hour, 10 minutes)
Fiddler Howdy Forrester talks about his work during the early years of country music and reflects on some of the changes he has seen. Discussion includes his childhood and early music influences; his start as a professional fiddle player; an overview of his career during the late 1930s-early 1940s; joining Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys in 1951; experiences as a traveling performer; changes at the Grand Ole Opry; memories of early performers, including Roy Acuff, Pee Wee King, and Bill Monroe; the development of his fiddle style; reasons for the enduring popularity of the Opry; country music during the late 1950s; memories of Fred Rose; his work with the Acuff-Rose Artists booking agency; the increasing similarity between pop and country music; and comments on changes in the Nashville music industry since the 1950s.

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