Tuesday, 3 September 2013
Jimmie Riddle born 3 September 1918
Jimmie Riddle (September 3, 1918–December 10, 1982) was an American country musician and multi-instrumentalist best known for his appearances on the country music and comedy television show Hee Haw. He was primarily known for the vocal art of eefing.
Riddle was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee and got into show business in Memphis, Tennessee at age 16 by passing the hat in a local beer joint. Jimmie started professional music with the Swift Jewel Cowboys in the late 30`s on accordion. He moved to Texas in 1939 where he later met Roy Acuff. He joined Acuff's group in 1943 and became a regular member of the band playing harmonica, piano, and accordion. Besides playing and recording with Acuff, he was a session man on many records in the 60`s.
He was well known for making and imitating all sorts of sounds. One thing he was famous for was the great old harmonica standard, The Fox Chase, and was very good at making the sounds with his harp and voice.
Riddle was a featured performer on Hee Haw in the late 1960s and early 1970s. One day in 1970 he and guitarist Jackie Phelps were fooling around backstage, Phelps doing the rhythmic knee-slapping known as hambone while Riddle eefed. Co-star Junior Samples was so impressed he encouraged the two to perform the routine for the producers. "The Hambone Brothers" became a semi-regular feature of the show. In the early 1980s Riddle joined Boxcar Willie's touring band, playing the harmonica solos.
Riddle died in Nashville.
Eefing (also written eeephing, eephing, eeefing, eefin, or eefn' and doubtless other ways) is an Appalachian (United States) vocal technique similar to beatboxing, but nearly a century older. It is a kind of hiccupping, rhythmic wheeze that started in rural Tennessee more than 100 years ago.