Dale Morris Sr Fiddle

Dale Morris Sr. – Fiddle

Dale Morris Sr. - FiddleDale Morris Sr. was born in Sanger, Texas, a small town north of Denton 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. Although Dale had been playing several years before reaching age eighteen, it is ironic, that until this time he had not been aware of the numerous great Texas style fiddlers who lived within a fifty-mile radius of him! Prior to this point in time, Dale played with various “bluegrass and country bands” around the Fort Worth – Dallas area.

Dale became aware, however and will forever feel a debt of gratitude to the great legendary Texas fiddler, Sleepy Johnson for his vital part in this. Dale will never forget the night, while playing at a nightclub in north Fort Worth, when 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, of whom Dale had recordings (by, the way, when asked Dale will quickly tell you that one of his very first heroes was Texas Shorty).
Dale had no idea, of course, at how important it would be for him to attend this jam session. 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.

Dale did attend the jam session and to say it 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 great fiddlers such as Norman and Vernon Soloman, Benny Thomasson, Major Franklin, Orville Burns, Dick Barrett, Louis Franklin, Garland Gainer, Claude Henson, etc. etc. on and on. While many current fiddlers, at the time of this writing, know of the past greats only via tape or other media, Dale feels very fortunate in the fact that he has personally known many of them.

Dale won his first fiddling contest in 1967 and being really ” bitten by the bug”, so to speak, Dale became an avid participant in fiddling contests across Texas and in 1972, won his first Texas State Championship. He went on to repeat in 1973 and also won again in 1978 and 1979. Also, over the years Dale has won several other prestigious contests, among these, the World’s Championship, 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, however, was not limited to strictly contest fiddling. By the early 1970s, 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”. Since then 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”, the group founded by Roy Rogers in the early 1930s.

Dale became a “full-time” music teacher by the early 1990s and at present he and his wife Tobi own and operate a teaching studio in Boyd Texas. They currently have a clientele of students, ranging in age from 2 years of age to 72, of whom they are very proud.