Pete McMahan with Kenny Applebee - The Rush Hill Sessions


I've been blessed to have had so many close friends and associations within the inner sanctum of Missouri fiddling for most of my life.  One of my first fiddle contests, Kenny Applebee was at my side playing guitar for me.  The first square dance I played for was next to Pete McMahan, Nile Wilson, Howard Marshall, and Charlie Walden in Wein, Missouri.  The first square I ever danced was lead by, Edna Mae Davis.  To say I have been fortunate would be an understatement.  I'm not a great musician by any stretch, but I'm dang persistent and have been able to rub shoulders with some of the best.

I'm lucky to have Kenny as one of my closest and oldest friends and we've both had the opportunity to play music together a lot more often lately (thanks science!).  Kenny has an unfathomable amount of home recordings from his many decades of playing with the best fiddlers in the country.  Every once in awhile I'll get to "check out" a few cassettes from his collection to digitize and share.  The most recent recordings are from a couple evenings in 1989 when Pete had visited Kenny and Norma at their home in Rush Hill.  

Click the link above to download two evenings of great fiddling featuring two of Missouri's greatest old-time players.  

I had mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that my wife, Jullia, and I had started a scholarship in honor of Pete McMahan.  I'm going to include the info here again for anyone new.  

This scholarship would benefit a young student's tuition who is attending the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp. I benefited from a scholarship to this camp as a kid from the generous Missouri Fiddler's and Country Music Association some 30 years ago.  Times are tough, even tougher for kids right now.  If we can keep money from being a determining factor for at least one child or family who loves this music that's something to smile about (and for me to keep updating this blog more often!).

So, if you're enjoying the music posts, my ramblings that no one asked for, and have a few bucks to throw towards keeping this tradition going here in mid-Missouri we'd love to help you pay it forward.

 To donate to the Pete McMahan Memorial Scholarship

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Thanks to everyone that has donated so far!

Thanks to everyone that follows this blog and supports my efforts here.  There's a lot of hours after work, weekends, and money that goes into this blog and storage.  I always enjoy getting feedback, stories, and whatever so please leave a comment or email me at

John P. Williams

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  1. Hi,

    I have a radio show on BLUEGRASS COUNTRY (88.5 HD-2) which serves the Washington, DC market (streaming at called "Bluegrass, Etc." The focus of my show is traditional Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, contemporary Old-Time, and pre-WWII Country 78s.

    I’d love to get an airplay hard copy of The Rush Hill Sessions, if you’re doing any of that.

    You can send CDs to me at my new home address [below]. If you’re an old friend from my KCSN days, please be sure to update your records. By the time my show ended in 2017, I had lasted at KCSN for almost 30 years. A good run.

    Please contact me if you need more information.

    Thank you for the music!

    Best wishes,

    Frank P. Hoppe
    1445 Begonia Drive
    Carpinteria, CA 93013
    c (818) 470-1061

    Bluegrass, Etc.
    Bluegrass Country 88.5 HD-2
    Thursdays noon – 3:00pm ET (9:00am – noon PT)

    Streaming at
    Latest show archived at Broadcast Archives – Bluegrass Country 88.5 HD-2
    Playlists and more at Frank in transition

  2. Is there a tune list for the rush hill sessions


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