Julian "Goose" Culbreath, 1916-2003

Fiddler Julian “Goose” Culbreath and two of his brothers learned how to play the fiddle from their father, James, a prize-winning contest fiddler. The family gathered each week for a Sunday morning jam session, and the household became known as the Cortez Grand Old Opry among the villagers. Outside of the Culbreath household, they also performed at square dances, and even had their own radio program in 1949. In addition to traditional southern fiddle tunes such as the “Orange Blossom Special” or “Arkansas Traveler,” Goose was well known for his trick fiddling techniques. These included bowing the fiddle with no hair, or wrapping the bow hair around the fiddle, as illustrated on “Back Up and Push.” The Culbreaths were also known for “beating the straws,” or “fiddlesticks,” where a family member tapped rhythm on the fiddle with sticks while Goose played “Granny Will Your Dog Bite” or “Old Joe Clark.”

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