The Old-Time Herald Volume 12, Number 8

A Missouri Valley Gathering:
Honoring Bob Walters, Dwight Lamb, and the Missouri Valley Fiddle Style
By Israel Tockman

Bob Walters, courtesy of Dwight Lamb

“If we’re going to play Missouri tunes, we’d better step it up a notch,” said Jim Lansford of Galena, Missouri.

In a sidewalk session outside the auditorium in Tekamah, Nebraska, Lansford was setting the bar high to honor the lives of two fine fiddlers and the style that shaped their playing.

Set on the wide flanks of one of the continent’s greatest rivers, Tekamah is one of many small farm communities that sprouted to take advantage of the fertile loess soils left behind by glaciers during the last ice age. In addition to corn and soybeans, the valley has nurtured an especially rich musical tradition.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of “Uncle” Bob Walters, the great Missouri Valley fiddler, who died on Christmas Day, 1960. On October 16, musicians from Virginia, Missouri, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa gathered in Tekamah to celebrate Walters’ life and music, and to pay homage to his protégé, Dwight Lamb of Onawa, Iowa.

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