Meet the Judges for the 2016 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.

(click pictures for a larger version)

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.

Mark Ralph

Mark Ralph grew up in the Short Creek community of Grayson County, Kentucky.  He joined the Grayson County Youth Orchestra when he was eleven years old and started an ongoing contest fiddling career soon afterward.

Notable wins include:  Kentucky State Fiddling Champion (4 times); Tennessee State Fiddling Champion (3 times); Indiana State Fiddling Champion (3 times); Alabama State Fiddling Champion; Walnut Valley Fiddle Contest in Winfield, Kansas; Lake Superior Open Fiddle Contest in Duluth, Minnesota; Lincoln Heritage National Open Fiddle Contest in Springfield, Illinois and the TVOTFA Fiddle King in Athens, Alabama.  He also has several top ten finishes in the Grand Master Fiddle Championship in Nashville, Tennessee and in the Grand National Championship in Weiser, Idaho.

Mark played professionally as a member of The Bar-J Wranglers, a western group based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, during the mid 80s.  He has served as a judge at numerous contests, including:  the Grand National Championship in Weiser, Idaho; the World Championship in Crockett, Texas; the Grand Lake Contest in Grove, Oklahoma and the Kentucky and Tennessee State Championships.  In addition, he helped revive the Alabama State Fiddling Championship and serves as its chief coordinator.

Mark is a practicing general dentist residing in Huntsville, Alabama with his  two children, Jake and Wade.  Samples of his playing are available on several National Oldtime Fiddlers Championship CDs as well as on his own ‘Gone to Texas’ CD.

Junior Marriott

Junior Marriott began playing rhythm guitar at the age of seven for his dad, who played the fiddle.  By age nine he was playing bass and at fourteen he began playing the fiddle.  At the age of sixteen he won the Missouri State Fiddle Championship, a title he has won several times, including the 2010 championship.

 Junior has won various contests and other state championships as well.  Some of these include Kansas State Fiddle Championship, Arkansas State Fiddle Championship, fifth place at the 2000 National Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho, and Grand Lake Fiddle Festival Champion in 2006, 2007, and 2010.

 A few major fiddle contests Junior has judged include Missouri State Championship, Arkansas State Championship, Grand Lake Championship in Grove, Oklahoma, the Texas State Championship in Hallettsville, Texas and the Grand Master Fiddler Championship.  He enjoys traveling to contests all over the United States.

 Junior lives in Ava, Missouri and recently opened Marriott Music, a full-line music store, specializing in vintage Gibson guitars.  He teaches fiddle, guitar, and bass lessons.  Junior also buys, sells, trades, and repairs instruments.


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 09, 2017 

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