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I just recently learned from John Hartford this sad news.
We are saddened to report that Old Time Fiddler Frazier Moss passed away last Tuesday, October 27, 1998 at the age of 88. Frazier and John
were dear friends who often traveled to fiddle contests together.
Read the full story from The Tennessean.
This is a news clipping from the Sunday, November 1, 1998 Knoxville News Sentinel
Marshal Andy, Our Favorite Cowboy,
"Riders Of The Silver Screen"
and Doug Dickey, U.T. Athletic Director, with
Eddy Arnold, Country Music's Legendary Star
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Country Music's Legendary star Eddy Arnold and his wife Sally, of Brentwood, also were in Knoxville last weekend and visited their friends Marshal Andy and Kathryn Smalls. The foursome joined University of Tennessee athletic director Doug Dickey and his wife Joanne, in their box at the stadium for the UT-Bama football game. Eddy had appeared the week before at Governor's Palace in Sevierville. Now 80, he continues to make four major appearances each year. Eddy and Andy's friendship goes back 22 years, and Eddy makes appearances on Marshal Andy's television show, "Riders of the Silver Screen." They will appear together on the mid December show airing on PBC. The foursome were caught up in the apres-the game traffic as so many were, but finally made it to the Smalls', where they enjoyed dessert and coffee and
Celebrated U.T.'s Victory!Compliments of Knoxville News Sentinel
Dies At Age 88
the last living link to a generation of classic country fiddlers, died yesterday,
October 27, 1998 in a Nashville hospital.
"He was a true, old-time Middle Tennessee fiddle
player," said John Hartford, who played and traveled
to fiddle contests frequently with Mr. Moss.
"He was one of the last links to the classic Tennessee
fiddling tradition," said Charles Wolfe, author of The
Devil's Box: Masters of Southern Fiddling.
Mr. Moss died at Bordeaux Hospital in Nashville
where he was under full-time care after breaking a
hip. He had lived for the past 10 years in Nashville
with his daughter, Mattie Sue Evins.
"He almost had the largest band in Middle Tennessee
because everybody played with him and everybody
loved to play with him," Hartford said. "He had this
way of making you feel like you were the best
Mr. Moss lived nearly all his life in Cookeville, but
was born in Jackson County, near Gainesboro. He
won his first fiddle contest at age 12 and once bested
Uncle Jimmy Thompson, a champion fiddler at the
turn of the century and an early member of the Grand
Ole Opry cast.
Mr. Moss fiddled on the campaign trail with Albert
Gore Sr. in 1934 and was invited to play for
President Franklin Roosevelt. He played on the
Grand Ole Opry and could have become a member
of the Opry himself, said Wolfe, but he was content
to work construction jobs and fiddle part-time until
his retirement in 1972.
When he returned to fiddling full-time, he won many
contests including the National Fiddling
Championship, the Southeast Fiddling Championship
and the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers'
He represented Tennessee at the Smithsonian's
Festival of American Folk life in Washington in 1986,
was a regular for years at the Tennessee Grassroots
Days folk festival and appeared at the first Summer
Lights Festival in Nashville and for many years
"He brought in more complicated, sophisticated
bowing techniques to this area," Wolfe said. "A lot of
the younger fiddlers give Frazier a lot of credit for
introducing the Texas longbow style to this area."
Moss also nurtured younger fiddlers.
"He'd work with 'em and teach 'em tunes, and then
he'd bring 'em over to my house," Hartford said.
"He'd put them together with great players."
Hartford was impressed with Moss' toughness in the
face of physical setbacks, including heart problems
"I watched him play his way through three or four
strokes," Hartford said. "He'd have a stroke and then
he'd say, 'By God, this ain't right.' He'd keep messin'
with it, and pretty soon he'd get where he could play
"A lot of musicians, when they get older, their fingers
start to stiffen up, they don't want to play out,"
Hartford continued. "He let his music give it all back
to him. He kept right on playing up to the end."
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