Herman Johnson - New National Champion
My last post about Cecil Johnson had me back on the search for more of his brother Herman's recordings. There's not a lot that I can write about Herman and his contributions to old-time fiddling that hasn't already been said. He was a generous teacher, a true gentleman, and a "simply perfect" fiddler.
This recording was made right after Herman's first National Championship win in Weiser, Idaho in 1968 with his friend Ralph McCraw. Herman went on to win the National Championship four more times after this and he still holds the record for being undefeated at this national level contest to this very day.
You can download the album in its entirety by clicking the link below.
(It's a compressed .zip folder so downloading to your desktop will be easiest.)
I was fortunate to study with Herman at the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp as a kid. For those that haven't yet heard of the Bethel Fiddle Camps, they are one of the longest running, all inclusive, music and dance intensive camps in the country (one of the very few camps that focuses on one-on-one lessons versus group). Taking place in Bethel, Missouri for over 30 years, they have hosted countless nationally renowned fiddlers as master instructors. They do have a facebook page that posts updates and information for upcoming events. **fingers crossed for summer of 2021**
Here's a great video from Charlie Walden's YouTube channel of Herman Johnson and Pete McMahan (on guitar!) from the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp in 1990. Check out Charlie's YouTube channel for hundreds, or possibly thousands, of great videos. Charlie played a huge part in getting the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp started in the 1980's and has spent a lot of time and energy helping to preserve old-time fiddling. He's also one of a few folks to blame for taking me under their wing as a young fiddler, sharing his knowledge, and keeping me hungry for learning everything I could.