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Jim Gaskin

December 5, 1985 OHC45 235 min.


Fiddle player. Born September 27, 1937; died May 3, 2008. Longtime performer on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.

Interview Summary

1985 December 5
(3 hours, 55 minutes)
Performer Jim Gaskin talks about his career, focusing on his association with the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and its creator, John Lair. Discussion includes his family musical history; early musical influences; comments on John Lair’s broadcast style; his early interest in the fiddle; comments on early fiddlers, including J. E. Mainer and Gid Tanner; a description of the early Renfro Valley radio shows; his development as a fiddle player; his first performance on Renfro Valley; his career in music and broadcasting; his association with Renfro Valley during the 1950s and 1960s; working with Asa Martin; the influence of Doc Roberts; his songwriting; his association with children’s theater; experiences on the folk music circuit during the 1960s; his growing association with Renfro Valley during the 1970s; Jim Gaskin’s Country Music Round-up radio show; joining the Renfro Valley show in the 1980s; comments on Renfro Valley entertainment events; John Lair’s goals for Renfro Valley, including Slim Miller and the role of comedy; comments on the Sunday Morning Gatherin’ program; memories of early Renfro Valley performers, including Lily May Ledford and the Coon Creek Girls and Jerry Behrens; and comments on the strengths and weaknesses of Renfro Valley; and the history of John Lair.

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