Goodbye to Two Texas Fiddle Legends

Two legendary Texas fiddlers passed on this week.

The unsurpassed Johnny Gimble died at 89 years old. He was a pioneer and giant of country, swing, and other styles in Texas music as well as a hugely generous person who worked for many years very closely with Texas Folklife on concert presentations, workshops, and other events. Here is coverage of his many appearances with all manner of performers. 

Gimble anchored manyTexas Folklife programs throughout the 1990s, including the Fiddle Fete, Blues, Boleros, and Brekadowns, and a variety of other fiddle workshops. Besides being an incredible fiddler, he was a funny and inviting soul who shared his knowledge, talent, and passion for fiddling.  

Here he is playing with "Take me back to Tulsa" with George Jones, which is done with his characteristic verve.

Fortunately, Texas Folkife recorded these concerts and workshops which featured Gimble and it has hours of absolutely riverting recordings in its archives. A nice sample of some of this material, including one of Gimble's beloved compositions called "Silver Lake Blues", is available on the archival fiddle cd Texas Folklife released in December.

And then this week also came the news that bluegrass fiddler Tex Logan died. Born in Coahoma, he was best known for his truly blistering work playing with Bill Monroe. By day, Tex Logan was an electrical engineer who " patented an echo canceller for satellite communications and worked on the “Shepp-Logan phantom,” which helps render images in cranial CT Scans" at Bell Labs in New Jersey.  He then had another life as one of the best and most sought after bluegrass fiddlers around.

It doesn't get much better than this. Here he is kicking off "Katy Hill" in Texas style in 1969.