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Marshall fiddling at Archives event

Marshall fiddling at Archives event

January 12th, 2018 by Jenny Gray in Local News

<p>Jenny Gray/For the News Tribune</p><p>Howard Marshall and company performed last June in Fulton. The group included, from left, Bill Foley, of Ashland, on banjo; Margot McMillen, of North Callaway County, on cello; Marshall and Kathy Gordon, of Columbia, on upright bass; and Henrich Leonhard, of Columbia, on guitar.</p>

Callaway County fiddler Howard Marshall will present at a Thursday Evening Speaker Series program examining 20th century Missouri fiddle music.

The event, scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, will feature Marshall performing on the fiddle and speaking about his book, "Fiddler's Dream: Old-Time, Swing, and Bluegrass in Twentieth-Century Missouri."

The program will be in the interpretive center of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, Missouri State Archives, 600 W. Main St.

Marshall was born in 1944 in Moberly, and his family pioneered from Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. He dropped out of college to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1960s, then returned to school, earning degrees along the way. His doctorate in folklore and anthropology came from Indiana University in Bloomington. He worked at museums, consulted for the Smithsonian, and established the Missouri Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Missouri, where he also taught.

Marshall has authored 11 books and sometimes performs with his wife, Margot McMillen, who plays the cello. Marshall also plays mandolin, guitar and banjo and has been known to sing. Since the 1960s, he has performed for dances, school programs and festivals. He competes in and judges fiddlers' contests.

In "Fiddler's Dream," he uses oral history, archival research, photographs and song transcriptions to trace the evolution of traditional fiddle music in Missouri from the early 1920s through the 1960s. The book focuses on such topics as radio performers, fiddling contests, the growth in popularity of opries and Show-Me State fiddlers who migrated to the West Coast, along with the influence of traditional fiddle music on swing, jazz and bluegrass.

During Thursday's program, Marshall will discuss these themes and perform with an accompanying ensemble of traditional musicians from central Missouri.

For more information, contact Brian Rogers at 573-526-1981 or