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About The Artist
W. H. "Shorty" Godwin had a long career in entertainment which probably extended over a half-century although there are numerous gaps in his life of which little is known.
In the last two decades of his life, he became best known as the humorist "Hiram Hayseed" who was described as a comic fiddler. He sang funny lyrics and sawed away on his fiddle, especially known on World's Original Jamboree in Wheeling.
Godwin was born in Georgia and moved to Texas with his family at age four. At some point he became a vaudeville and perhaps medicine show performer. He also worked for two seasons with the popular touring act of Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys and also performed with one of Gray's rivals.
In Dallas in 1929, as Shorty Godwin, he recorded two songs for Columbia.
Not much more is known of Godwin until he became a member of the country music group Mack Jeffers and his Fiddlin' Farmers. Whether he worked with them at WKRC Cincinnati or not is not clear, but he was with them at both Wheeling and Fairmont. Some of his signature songs and photo appear in their songbook.
He next appears as a member of Doc Williams' Border Riders for whom he worked from when Doc reorganized his band in 1947 until shortly before his death in 1959, with the exception of several months in 1952 when he was seriously ill. During this time, he recorded a four song extended play album on Wheeling. Later seven songs were released on a mixed Wheeling cassette.
Credits & Sources