with Jerry Rasmussen
Oklahoma Fancy Dancers
The Reedy Buzzards
Missouri Folk Arts Program
Sunday Gospel Concert
Big Muddy Folk Festival, Boonville, Missouri, April 6-7, 2001
Leroy heard his first fiddling at the old country store a couple of miles from their farm in Monroe County in the 1930s and got fired up to play the fiddle by listening to "The Grand Ole Opry" on the radio on Saturday nights. His fiddling idol was Curly Fox, but he also was a big fan of Roy Acuff and his band. As a young man, he was winning local contests against the old masters with his older brother "Rooster" playing backup guitar. He tried his hand at honky-tonk bands and such in the 50s. When asked to join Acuff's band, the newly married fiddler decided against the life as a road musician.
He won the Missouri state contest in November 1961 at the Missouri Theater in Columbia and dabbled with bluegrass in the 60s and 70s. He always considered that a strong, showy version of "Black Mountain Rag" and "Listen to the Mocking Bird" were the Holy Grail of the old-time fiddler.
Howard "Rusty" Marshall, who as a boy greatly admired Leroy's fiddling and is helping him produce a fiddle album, will join Leroy.