J.C. Hounshell 1993

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J.C. Hounshell
Inducted in 1993
Listen to Houshell play Ragtime Annie

J.C. was the youngest of six children born to Chris & Allie Byrd Hounshell of Grosvenor, Brown County, Texas. He comes from a musical family on his mother’s side.When J.C. was about ten years old, his mother traded an old crank type phonograph for a fiddle and a bow for J.C.’s oldest brother. His brother would not dare let him play his fiddle but when he was away from the house, J.C. would slip the fiddle out and experiment with it and learned to play before his brother knew anything about it.

He attended school in Grosvenor graduating in 1948. He then moved to Abilene, Texas where he went to business college and then worked for Lone Star Gas Company. He married his high school sweetheart Mary Joyce Ritchie in 1950. J.C. was probably about thirty years old before he heard Texas Style Fidding and he heard Bryant Houston. He just about went nuts and made trips to play with Bryant who lived in Cisco, Texas making recordings of his fiddling. The Hazelwood’s Carl and Chris moved to Abilene from New Mexico and were a good inspiration. Carl being a good fiddler and Chris, and excellent guitar picker. Along about this time he met Major Franklin and many, many others who were an inspiration to him.

The first time J.C. ever played in a contest was in Burnet, Texas and he won second place. Dick Barrett was first, J.C. second and Dale Morris, Sr. third. He has played in a lot of contests over the state and has judged a lot of them.

He was a judge for ten straight years for the Texas State Championship Contest in Hallettsville, Texas. Cliff Fryer told him he liked his judging as he was fair and impartial and Cliff along with Frank Zaruba and Kenneth Henneke were responsible for his being judge.

J.C. has always promoted Old Time Fiddling and encouraged the young people to play, helping them all he could. Math Deatherage used to knock on the door almost every night, or just anytime he could learn a lick or two. It was always a thrill when Terry Morris and Rex Gillentine would come for a visit and music would last till wee hours of the morning.

In 1974 J.C. & Joyce moved from Abilene to Lufkin, Texas. Their East Texas home is still the place for good company, good food and good fiddling.