Dale Morris

The National Fiddler Hall of Fame



Dale Morris


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Dale Morris was born in Sanger, Texas, and is the oldest of six children born to Laverne and Louise Morris. Dale grew up in a musical environment and developed an interest in music at a very early age. Dale’s first instrument was piano, however, through the years Dale later began playing guitar, then fiddle, Dale’s main instrument.

While playing at a nightclub in north Fort Worth, a couple in the audience introduced themselves as Sleepy and Sally Johnson. Sleepy, of course, was a famous fiddler, having worked with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys for many years. Also accompanying Sleepy and Sally were Drew and Jewell Garner. Jewell was the sister of legendary Texas fiddler Louis Franklin! Sleepy invited Dale to a “jam session” that was to be held at the home of Werner Cain. Sleepy went on to tell Dale of the different fiddlers who were likely to be there; Norman and Vernon Soloman, Benny Thomason, Orville Burns, Texas Shorty, Major Franklin, on and on. Ironically, Dale was unfamiliar with most of them at this time, except for Texas Shorty, one of Dale’s first heroes of whom Dale had recordings. It is very possible that Dale might not have attended this jam session had it not been for the persistence of Sleepy, who came by the Ford dealership in Fort Worth where Dale worked and insisted he attend. Sleepy knew how important this would be to Dale, and soon Dale realized this as well. To say this jam session was a “revelation” would be an understatement! Never had Dale heard so much great fiddling! Not only was his hero, the legendary Texas Shorty in attendance, so were the great fiddlers Norman and Vernon Soloman, Benny Thomasson, Major Franklin, Orville Burns, Dick Barrett, Louis Franklin, Garland Gainer, and Claude Henson. Dale feels very fortunate in the fact that he has personally known many of these greats.

Dale won his first fiddling contest in 1967 and became an avid participant in fiddling contests across Texas. In 1972, he won his first Texas State Championship, winning again in 1973, 1978 and 1979. Over the years Dale has won several other prestigious contests such as the World’s Championship in Crockett Texas in 1979, The Super Bowl of Fiddling in 1979, Colorado State Championship in 1986, The Western Open Old Time 1990.·He has also had the extreme honor of serving as judge in many of our nations most prestigious fiddle contests.

Dale’s love for his music was not limited to only contest fiddling. In the early 1970’s, Dale was working in the band of Billy Gray and the “Cowtowners”. Working in this band afforded Dale the opportunity to work with the likes of Wynn Stewart, Sammi Smith, Johnny Rodriquez, Carl Smith, Leon Rausch and Red Stegall. By 1975 Dale moved to Nashville Tennessee and became a member of Stonewall Jackson’s “Minutemen”. Dale has also been a member of The Marty Robbins’ band, Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys. In 1981 Dale was named the 17th member of the legendary “Sons of The Pioneers”. Dale became a full-time music teacher in the early 1990s. At present Dale owns and operates a teaching studio in Boyd Texas. He currently has a clientele of students of all ages, of whom he is very proud. In 2020 Dale Morris was honored to become a member of the National Fiddler Hall of Fame.