(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)
Staff Writer, Tennesseean
Mack Magaha, the "Dancing Fiddle Man" who performed with Country Music
Hall of Famer Porter Wagoner and with influential bluegrass band
Reno & Smiley, died yesterday in Veterans Hospital at age 74. He
had been hospitalized for pneumonia.
A South Carolina native, Mr. Magaha was known as a lively, energetic
presence onstage, as Nashville tourists found during his years in
the 1970s and '80s as a mainstay at the now-defunct Opryland theme park.
"He was a ball of fire out there," Wagoner said. "He was a
first-class showman." That showmanship proved especially important
during his time with Wagoner, as the Porter Wagoner Show was syndicated
to more than 100 television stations. The show expanded country music's
acceptance into the American mainstream, and Mr. Magaha was an
important part of that expansion.
"When he was on that show, in the '60s and '70s, I think it's
a pretty safe assumption that he was the most visible fiddle player
in country music," said WSM-AM air personality Eddie Stubbs, who
will deliver the eulogy at Mr. Magaha's funeral.
Mr. Magaha is survived by wife, Shirley; son, Wayne; and daughter,
Frida; grandchildren Christina Slemp, Kimberly Nash and Carl Nash;
and by six sisters, Gladys Brooks, Carrie Wells, Vivian Smith,
Betty Spence, Rachel Reid and Shelby Evanski.
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