Benny Thomasson 1980

benny_thomassonBenny Thornasson was born on a farm, April 22, 1909 at Winters, Texas, to Lucas (known as “Red Luke”) and Sarah Elizabeth Wright Thomasson, in a family of five brothers and six sisters. He came from a musical family – his father played the fiddle as well as four of the boys, and most of them played the guitar.

At the very early age of three, with his father’s help and by resting the neck of the fiddle on the bed, Benny learned to do ‘His Thing’ with the fiddle. He spent the days of childhood sharing the many joys and sorrows that a large family has – and his music with the fiddle occupied his time and talent. In 1928, while at Taos, New Mexico, he married Beatrice “Bea” Hollander. Most of his life he has lived in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area, where he worked as an auto body worker until his retirement. Benny and Bea have four children: Mrs Tim (Connie) La Cour, Jerry, Dale and Eddie. They have 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. They spend most of their time in Washington, but often get back to Texas to visit with their family and friends. In fact, they will always be considered Texans.

The recent issue, April 5, 1980, of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, listed Benny Thomasson of Arlington, “The First Person From the United States to Become the World Champion Fiddler.” (He was the first person to win the World’s Fiddlers’ Festival at Crockett, Texas three consecutive years (1955, l956 and1957) in 1974 at the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest at Weiser, Idaho, Benny won First Place in the Open Division and First Place in the Senior Division. During the 50th Anniversary of the United States Library of Congress, he was invited to Washington to record his rendition: Fiddle Music of This Country, Since then, anyone visiting there may hear Texas fiddle tunes – “Benny Thomasson Style”. All through the years, it was a close race between Benny and Major Franklin as to which one would win at the many fiddle contests they entered. Benny came to Hallettsville to our Fiddlers’ Frolics in April, 1977, and gave tribute to Sleepy Johnson, Inductee into the Texas Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame. He also played in the contest, almost surpassing “Texas Shorty” Chancellor as the Texas State Champion Fiddler for that year.

Like many other fiddlers, Benny has devoted most of his years since retirement in helping the young ones learn to master this instrument. For those unable to learn in his presence, his records and tapes have been an invaluable aid to any fiddler trying to learn or improve his art. To those who know and love him, his expertise with the violin is without peer. His