NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 6, 2008 - The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum's successful quarterly program series Nashville Cats: A Celebration of Music City Session Players returns on Saturday, August 23, with a salute to legendary fiddler Buddy Spicher. The 1:30 p.m. program, which will be held in the Museum's Ford Theater, is included with Museum admission and is free to Museum members.
The interactive program, hosted by Stringed Instrument Curator Bill Lloyd, will include a brief performance and an in-depth, one-on-one interview highlighted by vintage recordings, photos and film clips from the Museum’s Frist Library and Archive. Immediately following the program, Spicher will sign autographs in the Museum Store.
Buddy Spicher’s distinctive harmony fiddle backed country music legends Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Faron Young and others in the late ’50s and throughout most of the ’60s. After dedicating himself fully to session work, Spicher became one of Nashville’s most in-demand studio musicians for over three decades. His credits include “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” (Charley Pride), “Long Long Time” (Linda Ronstadt), “Love in the Hot Afternoon” (Gene Watson) and “Amarillo by Morning” (George Strait), among many others. Spicher has also issued highly regarded recordings of his own that feature his signature “double-stop” fiddle technique.
Norman Keith Spicher was born on a farm outside of Dubois, Pennsylvania, on July 28, 1938. After his brother traded a pony for a radio, the sounds of swing, boogie-woogie music and broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry became the soundtrack to Spicher’s childhood. At age 13, he began playing fiddle. Soon Spicher was playing in bands and, by the early ’50s, had earned a spot on the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia.
In 1957, Hank Williams’ widow, Audrey Williams, invited Spicher to Nashville after hearing him on WWVA. Within a few years, he was touring behind Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, Ray Price, Kitty Wells, Faron Young and childhood hero Hank Snow. Through his work with Snow, Spicher was able to make valuable connections and begin working in the recording studio.
Spicher’s shift to full-time session work in the late ’60s paid off, as his sophisticated, classical style and keen arranging skills were highly sought after by Nashville record producers. Harmony fiddle was Spicher’s specialty (often alongside Chubby Wise or Johnny Gimble), as was his “double stop” fiddle style, which, by doubling notes, often sounded like two harmonizing fiddles.
Artists whose recordings feature Spicher include Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Webb Pierce, Marty Robbins, Hank Thompson and Conway Twitty, among many others. Spicher has also lent his fiddle stylings to artists outside the country realm including Joan Baez, Gary Burton, Rosemary Clooney, Henry Mancini, Steve Miller Band and others.
Spicher currently owns and operates a recording studio, the Fiddle House, in East Nashville and appears live with the Nashville Swing Band. Spicher has worked on numerous projects throughout the years as both a producer and a recording artist. His newest album, Air Mail Special, is a collaboration with renowned Canadian fiddler Calvin Vollrath and other superpickers. Spicher also teaches at several annual fiddle camps including the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp and the Montana Fiddle Camp.
These programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
With the purchase of a Museum membership ($25/adults and $10/youth), visitors can attend most public programs free of charge for one year, including the Nashville Cats series, Poets and Prophets series, and programming related to the ongoing exhibit Family Tradition: The Williams Family Legacy, Co-Presented by SunTrust and Ford Motor Company. Museum memberships also include one year of unlimited admission to the Museum, discounts in the Museum Store, SoBro Grill and Hatch Show Print, and more. Membership support helps fund research, education and public programs that make country music history available to a worldwide audience.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The Museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the Foundation also operates CMF Records, the Museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.com or by calling (615) 416-2001.