Carl Hopkins 2007



Carl Hopkins
Inducted in 2007

Carl Hopkins was the first of three children born to E.J. & Violet Hopkins in Conroe, Texas, on September 11, 1959, in Montgomery County. Carl has twin sisters who were born a year later in 1960, Sharon and Sheila. Being the son of E.J., a champion fiddler, along with the encouragement and support of his mother Violet (Carl’s biggest fan), Carl began to play the fiddle at 8 years of age. He entered his first contest when he was about nine years old.

Some of the fiddlers that have made a significant impact on Carl’s fiddling over the years were Benny Thomasson, Louis Franklin, Major Franklin, Norman Solomon, Vernon Solomon, Orville Burns, Robert Mature, Brad Riley, Terry Morris, and of course, E.J. Hopkins. Along with great fiddle players, Carl had the opportunity to be around and be influenced by some great accompanists, such as, Dave Davidson, Chuck Goss, Carol Williams, Royce Franklin, Ray Franklin, Betty Solomon, Richard Puckett, James Mature, Gayle Hopson, Steve Williams, and later on, Anthony Mature. Carl has many accomplishments to his credit, such as playing on the Grand Ol’ Opry when he was only 13 years old, winning the Texas State Championship title, and winning the World Championship title, which he currently holds.

In 1987 Carl won the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo contest and part of the prize was 2 airline tickets. Later that year Carl and Wade Stockton used the tickets to fly to the National Fiddling Contest in Weiser, Idaho. While he was there, Carl met Tonya Rast, an incredible fiddle player herself, and his wife to be. They were married on April 8, 1989, and now have two beautiful children, Cassidy, 12, and Hyatt, 10. Besides fiddling and raising his family, Carl’s other interests include hunting and fishing, which he is very competitive at each. Carl has been a long time member of the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association.

He served as a director for several years and is an asset to the organization. Carl always attends as many of the fiddle contests as possible, and is usually responsible for a lot of the great jam sessions everyone loves to hear. Fiddle music is a very important part of Carl’s life, from the fellowship of other musicians to the fiddling itself, with the traditional breakdowns being where his heart lies. Carl grew up in an atmosphere of fiddle music, and through his life he has carried on the tradition. Carl is definitely a genuine Texas Fiddler.

Gordon W. Townsend