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Thread: LORDS OF HEE-HAW: JIMMIE RIDDLE & JACKIE PHELPS

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    Default LORDS OF HEE-HAW: JIMMIE RIDDLE & JACKIE PHELPS














    JIMMIE RIDDLE: SINGER, HAMONICIST, AND EEFING VIRTUOSO


    Jimmy Riddle (September 3, 1918–December 10, 1982) was an American country musician and multi-instrumentalist best known for his appearances on the country music and comedy television show Hee Haw. He was primarily known for the vocal art of eefing.

    Eefing (also written eeephing, eephing, eeefing, eefin, or eefn' and doubtless other ways) is an Appalachian (United States) vocal technique similar to beatboxing, but nearly a century older. It is a kind of hiccupping, rhythmic wheeze that started in rural Tennessee more than 100 years ago.






    JACKIE PHELPS: GUITARIST, BANJO-NAUT, AND HAMBONE VIRTUOSO


    Phelps served as both guitarist and banjoist with Bill Monroe as a member of the Bluegrass Boys. When banjo honcho Earl Scruggs and his new sidekick Lester Flatt left the Monroe band in 1947, Phelps came in as replacement guitarist, flanked by new banjoist Don Reno. In 1954 he put in another stint as a Bluegrass Boy, utilizing a two-finger banjo style and leading to the following assessment from fiddle whiz Benny Martin: "That sumbich could play "Little Rock Getaway" on a jew's harp!"

    Phelps was a regular cast member on Hee Haw from 1969 through 1986, joining such talented country artists as Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Buck Owens, and Jeannine Riley.

    As a guitarist, Phelps was greatly influenced by the sophisticated, uptown but still twangy guitar instrumental records of Chet Atkins.

    When Phelps first started making a name for himself in Nashville, he played quite heavily in the Atkins style, parlaying this into a regular gig on the Grand Ole Opry. In the mid-'50s, Phelps joined Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys when Acuff, wincing at the new popularity of rock & roll, finally relented and tried integrating the dreaded electric guitar into his band. The idea bombed for Acuff, who was hardly the rocker type, but did nothing to hurt the reputation of Phelps in Nashville. A track by this band is featured on the Vanguard compilation entitled Nashville at Newport.

    "If George Washington was alive today, he'd be a really old man." - Jackie Phelps

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