The Mint Hill Times

Moody stands in front of his trusty Jeep last year in Mint Hill. He still travels thousands of miles a year to perform.

If you missed long-time Mint Hill area resident Dwight Moody at the Armed Forces Museum and Archive of the Carolinas show last weekend in Indian Trail, you have another opportunity to hear the master bluegrass fiddler showcase his talents. This weekend, The North Carolina Fiddler & Friends will be live, on WSVS-Am, 800 in Crewe , Virginia. Moody will play Saturday February 5, 2011 from 12 noon until 1 pm. He will be on the “Noonday Hoedown Show” with Mel Payne. You can go to www.wsvsam.com and follow the link to listen to the show.

The Mint Hill Times interviewed Moody last year about his many decades-long career in music. After the break, read the interview in its entirety.

The Mint Hill Times

September, 2010

Fiddlin’ Dwight Moody is a living legend. The bluegrass fiddler has played and recorded with a who’s who of musicians over the years, including his family. He even played fiddle on the battle lines in the Korean War. He’s visited 29 countries and helped start the Matthews-Mint Hill Rotary Club where he is still an active member. This week, he talks about the beginnings. Next week, he talks about his Korea War days and The North Carolina Musicians Hall of Fame which is helping to start.

Q. How did you get started with your career?

A. I started my career in 1948 in Virginia two years after finishing high school in La Cross. The FFA group wanted to do a national project and got three musicians and put a program  together to play at WHNC in Henderson for a live show. That’s where I got my start. Now, before that  I played with my uncle and aunt at political rallies for the Democratic Party.

Q. What’s your earliest music memory?

A. My earliest remembrance is playing for corn shuckings. They’d move the furniture out of the living room on Friday night and we’d sit there in the middle of the door and play square dances after they shucked the corn. Then they’d shuck corn again on Saturday nights and we’d play again. That’s my first memory of playing other than playing in the living room. It was great for me because at the end of W.W.II, by playing these dances, I formed a band called the Virginia Playboys and we played American Legions and all kind of clubs when the soldiers came back from W.W.II. So we became very popular.

Q. You got to go home, so to speak, this past weekend, right?

A. This past weekend I was on WSVS in Crewe, Virginia where I did a live broadcast on the internet and Sirius Radio. We had calls from all over the world—Netherlands, Paris. It’s amazing the communication today.
The station came on the air in September 1947 and we played there in December of 1947. That same studio became the home studio for Lester Flatts and Earl Scruggs. They recorded the music and it was sent out across the country. I still go there about four times a year. Already been booked for next year.

Q. You’ve played with a lot of famous musicians in your years. Ever get nervous?

A. I’ll tell you, I don’t try to copy anybody on my fiddle. When you hear me, it’s just me. I feel comfortable with that. I’ll tell people even today, if there is a big name they want me to back. I’ll say, “I heard your number, but I have my own style.” And they’ll tell me to play it the way I hear it. And I think if you have that ability you can be comfortable. Probably the most nervous I’ve been—and not because I felt like I was going to play something wrong—was at the Grand Ole Opry In Nashville. When you walk on stage and stand in that circle, if something don’t happen to recognize that you are standing in history of American Music, if you don’t feel anything there, then I think it’s about time to move out. If you’ve been in that spot, then you deserve to be there. I get that same feeling when I walk into the Flatt and Scruggs studio in Crewe. When I step up to that microphone, and I make the first pull on that bow of that fiddle, I realize the history and who played there. And yet, I stood there before them.