Benny Thomasson - A Radio Portrait of an Old-Time Fiddler

If you were lucky enough to be tuning in to KPFA radio on October 16th, 1973 at 8pm in the Berkeley, California area you were able to listen to a wonderful one hour interview with Texas fiddling icon, Benny Thomasson.  If not, you've probably read the transcript of the interview that's available online here -  

Most of us weren't listening in on that evening, and as far as I know and have been told that this audio hasn't ever been available to the public or was rebroadcast elsewhere.  Fortunate for me and everyone else that's a fan of Benny Thomasson, I somehow found and acquired the MASTER REEL of what I'd consider a truly historic and important piece of American fiddling history.  Several of the tunes presented on the show we've all heard on Benny's commercial recordings but there are some very special and never before heard field recordings throughout this interview.  Enjoy!


- The information from the reel - 

Devil's Dream:  A Radio Portrait of an Old-Time Fiddler -- The Music of Benny Thomasson

This program features the fiddling of Benny Thomasson, one of the most important innovators of the Texas, or Western style of fiddling.  There is an interview with Benny, interspersed with many examples of Benny's music, much of it from recordings, but some of it recorded "in the field" at Weiser, Idaho, at the National Fiddle Contest.  Produced by David M. Garelick.

If you'd like the audio file in its entirety, you can download it directly from my Google Drive by clicking HERE.

Some very dear friends of mine helped in this endeavor.  Dave Cavin's was kind enough to digitize the large radio reel with his commercial equipment.  Rachel Krause helped me get the audio into a YouTube video to make it easier for folks to stream online.  And another generous friend (who wishes to remain unnamed!) sent along some great pictures of Benny to add to this.  It takes a community to keep all of this going!

And huge thanks from all of us definitely goes out to Gus Garelick, Michael Mendelson, and Nancy Dols for having the foresight to do this interview so many years ago.

I'd love to hear some feedback from y'all so if you have anything to share please email me at - Cheers!


  1. Replies
    1. Spreading the gospel one post at a time, brother!

  2. Wow. That is so historically important. Thanks for posting!

  3. I’ve been searching for information on Benny Thomasson and came across your post. Thank you for sharing. Benny Thomasson is my Grandmother’s Uncle on her Father’s side. I met Uncle Benny and Aunt Bea when I was very young. They were visiting his brother Jim (my great Grandfather). I remember them playing tunes together. Benny on the fiddle and my Grandfather on the banjo. Great memories. I am now sharing your article and his songs with my Grandchildren.


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