Fiddler’s Dream explores and documents that heritage of fiddle music in Missouri from the 1920s to the 1960s, decades of great change in cultural traditions and daily life as well as in fiddlers’ styles and repertoires. This book complements Dr. Marshall’s previous work in fiddle and dance music from the 1700s to the early 1920s, Play Me Something Quick and Devilish. With 30 tunes, the enclosed Voyager Records companion CD includes a sampler of Missouri fiddlers and styles highlighted in the book.
Fiddler’s Dream describes the dynamic evolution of fiddle music in pivotal times of the twentieth century. Radio broadcasts, commercial recording, and the westward migration of Missouri fiddlers made the state’s music available to listeners across the country. In turn, early swing, bluegrass, and jazz music influenced many musicians who competed in old-time fiddlers contests, were features, in professional oprys and shows, and who played dances and countless social occasions. Drawn from oral interviews, archival photographs, field recordings, and transcriptions of selected tunes, this lively narrative is informed by Marshall’s knowledge of Missouri traditions as a fiddler and accompanist himself.
About the Author
Howard Wight Marshall is Professor Emeritus of Art History and Archaeology, former director of the Missouri Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and former Folklife Specialist in the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. Numerous other publications include Play Me Something Quick and Devilish and Folk Architecture in Little Dixie: A Regional Cultural in Missouri.
Published by the University of Missouri Press, hardback, 2017. 427 pages.