Randy Elmore, known as one the most versatile fiddle players and as one of the hottest western swing fiddlers in the country, began his professional career at age 20, traveling the United States and Europe. His sought after talent takes him all across the country performing shows solo and with his western swing band. An “All Around” fiddler, Randy’s versatility and superb execution can take him with ease from playing western swing music to Texas-style fiddling and is just as much at home playing jazz, gospel, or classical music. His repertoire is vast and amazes even the best of his fellow musicians in his field.
Randy was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, on the 13th of June, 1954, to James and Glee Elmore. The oldest of six children, Randy started out playing the guitar at age nine. At age eleve,n his father asked him if he would be interested in playing the fiddle and bought one for him to try. From the first time he picked up the fiddle and with the awkward pull of the bow and the squeak of the string, Randy knew he had found the instrument that would allow him to convey his feelings to the folks in the audience. Randy says, “There was something unexplainable about the sound that came out of that fiddle, and to this day I’ve never been able to put it down”.
Randy played for the first two years under the instruction of Mr. Kenneth Pitts, who was once the fiddler for the Lightcrust Doughboys. It was about this time that he met fiddle maker and repairman Mr. L.T. Childress, who introduced Randy to the world of contest fiddling. His first contest was in Glen Rose, Texas. Through Mr. Childress, he met fiddlers Bill Gilbert and Norman Solomon who would become Randy’s main teachers for the next few years. Bill Gilbert was terrific in teaching the basic tunes so as not to lose the original melody and one night taught Randy 26 tunes in one evening. Randy had to stop several times on the way home and play the tunes through so he wouldn’t get them mixed up. It took him four hours to make a one hour drive home. Norman worked on teaching Randy versatility in playing the same tune several different ways by showing him the importance of adding variations. Norman was very strict and also taught Randy the importance of intonation. Once Randy obtained his driver’s license, he also started going to the homes of Vernon Solomon, Benny Thomasson, Claude Henson, Sleepy Johnson, Major and Lewis Franklin, E.J. Hopkins, and many, many other fiddlers, who were always willing to teach a young fiddler a new tune or a new way to play a tune. Randy said, “I’ve never heard a fiddler that I couldn’t learn something from. They have all got their own ways of playing and they’re all good.”