Meet the Judges for the 2015 State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships!

We at the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships take great pride in having the finest judges available for our music and dance competitions. All our judges, led by Judging Coordinator Boge Quinn, are championship-caliber musicians or dancers who bring a lifetime of experience to our event.

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2015 Results

Music Judges

Boge Quinn - Judging Coordinator

A mandolinist, guitarist and Old-Time banjo player, Boge was raised in Clarksville, TN and grew up around the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships. Boge has won many contests across the Southeastern United States over the years, and has served for many years as a judge at the Uncle Dave Macon Days festival in Murfreesboro, TN. Boge currently plays and sings Gospel and Old-Time Country/Western music as a solo act, leads singing at a small country church where his late dad completed his long career as Pastor, and plays and sings Blue Grass and Country music in local groups.

Fred Duggin

Fred began playing the guitar as a teenager and learned many styles. After becoming interested in acoustic music, he concentrated on the flat top guitar. In the 80's he played with Wynn Osborne, and also worked the Grand Ol' Opry with Mike Snider, as well as the Nashville Now TV show. Fred later met a musician named Danny Roberts and they started the band The New Tradition. The band played the Grand Ol" Opry and had a number one video on CMT called "Seed Of Love". After playing many festivals nationwide. Fred left the band in the 90's and started playing with Tim Graves. In the last several years, Fred has placed at the National Flatpick Guitar Championships at Winfield, KS, and won the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' contest in guitar and Blue Grass band, as well as many other contests. He resides in Nashville Tn, and owns a recording studio, SongCity Studios.

Carl Caldwell

Carl was born in the mountain community of Princeton, W.V. He started playing guitar at 9 years old, and soon discovered Bluegrass and Old Time Music through local Fiddler’s Conventions. He became an accomplished guitarist, winning the prestigious Galax Fiddler’s Convention for the first time at age 17.

He has toured and performed with Kevin Williamson and Shadow Ridge, Dale Ann Bradley, Clarence Kelly, Dave Evans and several other groups.

In addition to playing mandolin, guitar, bass and some banjo and fiddle, Carl is an accomplished songwriter as well. He penned “You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper” which became a title cut, video and a number one chart song for Doyle Lawson in 2005. He newest recorded project of original songs, “Down Another Lonesome Highway” features Carl on most all the instruments and vocals, with some help from some very talented friends.

Carl and his family reside in Brentwood, TN.

Sam Vance

J. Sam Vance began playing banjo at age 12.  By the time he graduated high school, Sam had cut his performing teeth on the contest circuit around Middle Tennessee and at square dances, picking parlors, high school performances, and church functions.  Beginning in 1982, he played southeast Tennessee and regional events and toured with the Tom Morgan Family band.  During this period, Sam helped record Benny Williams’ Tribute to Bill Monroe project.  An unexpected phone call came from Music City Bluegrass in late 2001.  He stayed with MCB until 2004 and then graduated to the much-heralded Fast Forward band, a Nashville area super-group with over 35 band contest wins under its belt.  Between 2004 and 2007, Sam split his playing time with the Memphis-based Tennessee Gentlemen, touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Encouragement from Sam’s fellow band members was his impetus to record his Banjo Crossing project in 2005. After the FF and TG stints he became Old Hickory’s charter banjo player in early 2008.  The band currently operates under the moniker of Blue Hollow.


Fiddle Judges

Ed Carnes - Head Fiddle Judge

Ed was born and grew up in Leitchfield, Kentucky, and has been playing the fiddle since 1977. He began playing as a charter member of the Grayson County school orchestra and learned to play fiddle with several other students who also became champion fiddlers.

Ed has won fiddle championships in 5 states - Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Ohio, and placed as high as Runner-Up in the Grand Master Fiddler Championship. He has won numerous other championships, such as the Mid-America Championship (5 times), Empire State Championship, Western KY. Championship and many others. Ed has fiddled all over the US, and also in Canada. An accomplished and Nationally certified fiddle judge, Ed has judged the KY State Championship several times, the IN State championship, the U.S. National Contest in Weiser, ID, the Western Open Contest in Redding, CA, and many other contests. Ed has two solo recordings of his music available, and has been featured on several collections. Ed is also one of the organizers of the new Grand Master Fiddler Championship Competition, which restarted in 2005, and serves on its Board of Directors.

Bobby Taylor

Bobby is a fourth generation West Virginia fiddler and he has played fiddle for more than 40 years, starting at the age of 13. He was the 1977 West Virginia State Fiddle Champion. In 2003, Bobby received the Footbridge Award, presented by FOOTMAD (Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance) for his contributions to old-time music. He has been coordinator of many prestigious contests across the U.S., including West Virginia's Vandalia Gathering contests, the Appalachian Open Contest, and the Appalachian String Band Music Festival contest. Bobby has judged the Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia State Championships, the Galax (VA) Fiddlers Convention, the Grand Master Fiddle Championship, Jana Jae’s Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest, the Western Open Fiddle Championship, and the Grand National Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho. He's a consultant regarding the rules, guidelines and selection of judges for various fiddle contests throughout the nation. He has taught fiddle workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center and Allegheny Echoes.

Bill Jones

Bill was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He started playing classical violin at age 10 with the 5th grade strings program in the Nashville public school system. Shortly after that he joined the fiddle world, playing Old-Time, Irish, and Blue Grass. At age 14, he competed at the Smithville Jamboree for his first fiddle contest; he considered it a victory that he did not fall off the stage, considering how nervous and shaky he was! From then on, he competed at every contest that his dad would take him to; his dad played rhythm guitar for him for many years. 

Bill has won or placed in the top 3 at many contests, including: Tennessee State, Georgia State, KY State, Indiana State, Alabama state, Grove OK, Walnut Valley, & Western Open. In 2009 he was invited to judge the World Championship Fiddle Contest in Crockett, TX. Freshly inspired from the great fiddling, the next week he went to Weiser, ID and won the young adult division at the National Fiddle Contest.

Bill graduated from Tennessee Tech in Cookeville,TN with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA. He is currently a business center manager for Carlisle Tire in Clinton, TN. Bill and his wife Heather are raising their first son, Weston. With career and parenting responsibilities, Bill rarely competes any more since he doesn't have time to keep his chops up; however, he will pick up a 6-string or tenor guitar at a moment's notice to jam or play rhythm for fiddle players.


Dance Judges

Susanne Buttrey

Susanne has been dancing her entire life.  Her father and mother danced with the Cedar Hill Square Dancers, a group that appeared regularly on the Grand Old Opry in the early 1950s.  She grew up a dance floor as her father called dances most every weekend including being the caller for Roy Acuff’s Dunbar Cave.  Susanne has team danced and entered single competitions since her early 20s.  She was on the 1992 State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships and is a former individual Champion here also.  She’s judged at different events for a number of years.

Dianne Franklin

Dianne is the daughter of the late Robert Spicer, recipient of the National Heritage Award for the Endowment of the Arts for old time flat foot dancing.  She’s been dancing since she was eight years old.  Every Saturday night she and her family could be found at one of the local community centers, dancing and having a good time.  Dianne has danced on several local square-dance groups throughout the years.  She thoroughly enjoys dancing and “doesn’t plan on giving it up any time soon.”  In addition to her dancing abilities, Dianne also plays a bass fiddle.

Jewel Proper

Jewel has been dancing all her life.  As an adult, she’s entered single competitions and usually placed.  She’s danced on several teams and, like the single competitions, has usually been on a team that placed.  This includes being on the 1992 team (with Susanne) that placed first here at the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships.  Jewel has been judging at different events since 1993.

L-R: Dianne Franklin, Jewel Proper, Susanne Buttrey



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Last modified: January 29, 2016 

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