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Chubby Wise

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Most closely associated with Western swing and early bluegrass, Chubby Wise was one of the greatest fiddlers in country music. Born Robert Russell Wise in Lake City, Florida, he didn't begin playing the fiddle until age 15, and got his start working night clubs in Jacksonville before becoming a full-time musician in 1938, when he joined the Jubilee Hillbillies. In 1942, he joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and began playing at the Grand Old Opry. He performed and recorded with the band through 1948, and also worked with other performers such as Clyde Moody, with whom he co-wrote the "Shenandoah Waltz." He and Moody worked together until late 1949, when Wise returned to the Blue Grass Boys for another brief stint. Later, Wise performed with the York Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, and Connie B. Gay's band. In 1954 he went to Nashville and joined Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch Boys on the Opry, remaining with the band through 1970. When not touring, Wise did session work with such performers as Mac Wiseman, Red Allen and others, and began recording solo fiddle albums in 1969. He also played at the occasional bluegrass festival. In 1984, he moved to Florida and cut back on his workload, although in 1992 recorded with the Bass Mountain Boys. ~ Sandra Brennan

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Birth Name:

Robert Russell Wise


02 October 1915 in Lake City, FL

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s