Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention Is March 15

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Fiddlers-WG Keith,Gid Tanner,AA Gray,Henry West in 1919.
Fiddlers-WG Keith,Gid Tanner,AA Gray,Henry West in 1919.

The Chattanooga Old Fiddlers’ Association will host the Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention Saturday, March 15. The event will begin at noon and be held in historic Lindsay Street Hall at 901 Lindsay St. in downtown Chattanooga.  

The event will include performances as well as contests as the "top old time musicians of the south" compete for top honors and cash prizes in categories such as old time banjo, dance, traditional song and string band. The main event, however, is the old time fiddle competition, where fiddlers from half a dozen states let the rosin fly as they battle each other with fiddle and bow for the honor of Champion Fiddler of the South.

The contest began in Chattanooga in 1925 and has a long and rich history, regularly drawing all the best musicians from the southeast. A local musician, Matt Downer, revived the event in 2010. “Gid Tanner, Clayton McMichen, Uncle Dave Macon – all the big names in early recorded string band music, they all made it a yearly tradition to come here to Chattanooga and compete against some of our best local fiddlers like ‘Sawmill’ Tom Smith, Jess Young and Lowe Stokes,” Mr. Downer said, “Anytime you can reach back 80 years into your city’s musical past and bring back a piece of that history, it is really something special. This music, old time music, is just as alive, relevant and important today as it was back when the event started. If you turn on your radio today, a lot of what you would hear is dance music. Old time music is a link in the chain - it has been played as dance music for centuries. This type of history isn’t kept behind glass or in museums and such – this is living history, this is the people’s music.”

Admission is $10 and children under 12 are admitted free. Contest registration is free with paid admission. Food and drinks will be available and the public is cordially invited to come and experience the southern tradition. 

For more information visit or the Facebook event page -!/events/230109543837975/.

Great Southern fiddlers
Great Southern fiddlers

Dilating Nexus Series Part V: Soul In A Box Is Aug. 30

ArtsBuild, Human Conduct, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society will present The Dilating Nexus Series Part V of V: Soul in a Box, on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door and will be held at Mark Making, 2510 North Chamberlain Ave. On the evening of Feb. 15, 2013, Chattanooga lost artist, musician, storyteller, improviser, educator, ... (click for more)

No Wire Hangers!

While watching the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga’s production of  Keely and Du , I was relieved to be writing the review and not working on the marketing campaign. It’s a hard sell, to say the least. The play takes the hot-button issue of abortion and hurls it into the audience like a hand grenade. It’s hard to call  Keely and Du  enjoyable, but it’s certainly ... (click for more)

East Ridge, Red Bank Mayors Facing Opposition In Upcoming Election

Mayors of East Ridge and Red Bank are facing opposition in the upcoming election. East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert is being opposed by the vice mayor, Jim Bethune, and by citizen activist Frances Pope. Red Bank Mayor John Roberts will be going up against Commissioner Rick Causer in the at-large race. Commissioner Causer, even if he loses, will be able to keep his current District ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Westview Elementary Rampage Under Treatment At Moccasin Bend

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School is under treatment at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, officials said. Aaron Roden had been set for his first court appearance on Thursday morning. Attorney Allen Dunn of the public defender's office said the hearing needed to be delayed. A status court appearance will be Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Sheriff ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House?

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Coaches Vs. ‘Top 25’ Foes

The long-accepted measuring stick for a college football coach has been his win-loss record, with an after-glance at his win-loss record within his conference. But in Wednesday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal, writer David Everson, with the help of Stats LLC, used a much-tougher litmus test when he revealed the records of 65 major-college coaches against opponents that were ... (click for more)