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Roger Howell Memory Collection of Fiddle Tunes



Southern Appalachian Archives, Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies, Mars Hill University


Roger Howell Memory Collection of Fiddle Tunes, 2007, 2013, 2015-2018




Roger Howell


Material in English


24 compact discs with 634 fiddle tunes


These materials are located in the Southern Appalachian Archives in Renfro Library, Mars Hill University. For assistance, please call (828) 689-1262 or e-mail


Roger Howell is a fiddler in Mars Hill, Madison County, North Carolina. A founding member of the Carolina Old-Timers String Band, he has also played with the Carroll Best String Band and others. For many years, Roger Howell has performed at most regional festivals, including the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina; the Celebration of Traditional Music in Berea, Kentucky; the Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee; the Fiddler's Grove Old-Time and Bluegrass Festival in Union Grove, North Carolina; and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of Appalachia Festival in Mars Hill, North Carolina. He has won many awards at fiddlers conventions and festivals. Howell’s mentors early in his musical career were Madison County fiddlers Tommy Hunter and Woodrow Boone. He counts among his other musical influences Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith, Benny Sims, Byard Ray, Arvil Freeman, Charlie Acuff, John Hartford, Fletcher Bright, and Bobby Hicks. Through his performances, recordings, and instruction, Howell seeks to preserve traditional mountain music. Roger Howell’s Memory Collection includes 634 fiddle tunes on twenty-four compact discs that he recorded over the course of multiple sessions in 2007, 2013, and from 2015 to 2018. In 2007, he recorded 355 mostly unaccompanied fiddle tunes on thirteen compact discs with commentary that gives information such as the tunes' alternative names and origins. Roger Howell began the recording process once again in 2013 and added an additional 177 tunes, most with guitar accompaniment, on seven compact discs. He added 102 more tunes from 2015 to 2018 on four compact discs. The Roger Howell Memory Collection of Fiddle Tunes has deep roots in Madison County, featuring information and versions of many tunes once played by Woodrow Boone, Tommy Hunter, Marvin Faulkner, Jeter Edwards, Doug Phillips, and Carl Dean Reese, as well as several original Roger Howell compositions. The collection also reflects Howell’s breadth of knowledge about fiddle music in the United States and Europe with tunes from Manco Sneed, Ed Haley, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, J. Crate Boone, Tommy Jackson, J.P. Fraley, Charlie Acuff, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Art Galbraith, Owen “Snake” Chapman, Turlough O’Carolan, "Howdy" Forrester, Dr. Mack Snoderly, Kenny Baker, Tommy Magness, Vernon Riddle, Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, Benny Thomasson, Eck Robertson, Melvin Wine, Stephen Foster, Grover Sutton, Gordon Freeman, Don Messer, Buddy Thomas, Clark Kessinger, Paul Warren, Bill Northcutt, Texas Shorty, Bob Walters, Ramona Jones, Dona Cavanagh, Gid Tanner, James Bryan, Gaither Carlton, Lynn "Chirps" Smith, and many others.