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Fiddler's Curse: The Untold Story of Ervin T. Rouse, Chubby Wise, Johnny Cash, and The Orange Blossom Special (Revised and Updated) Paperback – July 1, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Centerstream (July 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574242148
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574242140
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I was playing bass for a guy named Brock Mc Coy in south Florida back in '64. We were playing out on the Tamiami trail in a joint when these two guys come in, one with a fiddle case under his arm. They set down and he took his fiddle out and tuned it with us. I asked Brock who he was and he said " he's Ervin Rouse". I asked who the heck is Ervin Rouse? He said "he wrote the Orange Blossom Special, he'll be up here". So he comes on up on the stage and starts to play with us. Brock introduces him and begins to play/talk. That song never took so long to finish, what with him talking as he began. For example, " I made enough money on my Special to buy this great state of Florida!" on and on he went, but the son of a gun could play. We played a waltz and he went down on the dance floor and put the bow between his legs and began dancing around while he played The Blue Danube. Now we weren't playing that song but he inserted it in, it was funny and the folks loved it.
When we took a break I told him I loved the song he wrote, Sweeter Than the Flowers and asked if he wrote it for his mother. In typical Rouse fashion he said " I wrote Sweeter Than the Flowers for everybody's mother". I asked him if he would do the song and he said, "I normally don't do that song in a place like this but since you asked I'll do it".
While we sat on break I told them that I had sang once with Chubby Wise. Ervin's brother spoke up and said " Chubby used to live down the road from us and would come to the house early Saturday mornings and throw pebbles at Ervin's window to wake him up and come out and teach him stuff on the fiddle". That too was typical Rouse, only coming from his brother.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great read for anyone who is interested in bluegrass, early country music, or rural American life in the 1930s. It takes distant musical legends that we now take for granted and gives them faces and voices. It draws an unforgettable bridge between early 20th century itinerant traveling musicians and the teething early world of recording and radio. It reads like "O Brother, Where Art Thou", but with real-life musical pioneers and heroes.

When I got my copy of this book, I started thumbing through it, and the next thing I knew, it was two hours later and I was still glued to it! Until I finished it --and I read some parts twice just because they were so interesting-- the dishes went unwashed, the family went unfed, the house went uncleaned, the instruments went untouched (and that is hardly an exaggeration!). I certainly recommend it!

Reja Jager
President, Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association
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I don't know what is more relentlessly compelling: the story of the "Orange Blossom Special" or the story of the man who wrote it.
In the end, of course, the stories end up being intertwined, and the author pulls both up out of the swamps of the Everglades and places them in the realm of legend. History was made by real people, and Ervin Rouse was about as real as you get--if you consider "truly strange" to be "real." But he produced from deep inside himself (real deep, it seems) one of the great tunes of our times. I love the story; I love the writing.
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Format: Paperback
A big hooray for this book. I learned alot and have read it over and over. I tell everybody and anybody about this incredible story, whenever there is a mention of the Orange Blossom Special. The book comes with a CD. Loved that too! I cant find mine and need to replace it now. Here is the thing....there is another song..."Sweeter then the flowers"...which may be the most beautiful song in the world and thats on the cd too.

This book is special to my heart.
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