Olaf Karl Riewe 2018

Olaf Riewe was born September 2nd, 1927 to Rudolph and Adeline Riewe, in the Blue Ridge area of Hamilton, TX. He was the second born of six children. Olaf began playing the fiddle at the age of ten. His first fiddle was made by his mother from a cigar box. Later, he was able to upgrade to a 3/4 size metal fiddle that allowed him to really practice and learn all the basics of fiddle playing. Sometime later, his father made a trip to town and traded for a full size Stradivarius copy, enabling him to master all the techniques of playing. Olaf’s desire for fiddle music continued to grow, and over a full working summer, he was able to save enough money to purchase a newer instrument from a music store in Waco, TX for $80. Olaf’s older brother Louis, also enjoyed music and took up playing the guitar. Together, they would attend various jam sessions, functions, and family gatherings as amateurs to practice and further enhance their talents. The Riewe family eventually moved to Austin, TX in 1947 where later Olaf would meet his life-long love, Anne, in the church choir. Olaf and Anne married on Nov. 6th 1954. A couple of years later, Olaf went to work for the Texas Highway Department that was located at 35th & Jackson, and as fate would have it, also happened to be across the street from a highly regarded luthier, Whatley’s violin shop. Mr. Whatley quickly took a shine to Olaf and his repair abilities, and set him up to make exceptional fiddles and bows. They spent many hours over lunch breaks, and any spare time Mr. Whatley had, refining the skill of fiddle and bow construction. That passion for creating the musical instrument only grew, and overtime, led to Olaf becoming a master at the art of handmade fiddles and bows. At 90 years of age, Olaf still continues to make violins and bows, and do repairs for the many loyal customers whom have become friends over the years. Olaf’s deep rooted devotion for fiddle music prompted him to become a founding member of the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association, where he was able to further pursue his love of the Texas Old Time Fiddling music. In later years, Olaf and Anne took their nephew, Keith Riewe, to live with them. This would not have been done without Anne’s direction, and for their love of family. Their time together allowed Keith the invaluable opportunity to learn fiddle music from Olaf. Playing together has given all of them so many wonderful memories. The encouragement and support from Olaf and Anne gave Keith a positive foundation for many facets of his life. He went on Tarleton State University, obtained several degrees, became a successful business entrepreneur, and lives in Colleyville, TX with his wife April, and their daughter Presley Anne. Olaf’s beloved Anne went to be with our Lord and Savior on August 8th, 2014. She was a big supporter of Olaf’s admiration of the fiddle, and attended countless contests and jam sessions across this great state of Texas. She has been missed dearly, and there is no doubt, Anne is looking down from heaven with so much pride! Olaf would like to thank the Knights of Columbus for all the contests they have put on, the Fryer Family, for their continued support of Texas fiddle music, Ken Henneke, Frank Zaruba, and all the lifelong friendships he has made through fiddling. He would also like to thank his family for all of their support and love. He could not have accomplished this without them, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Olaf is greatly honored and humbled to receive this award and be the 2018 inductee to the Fiddlers Hall of Fame.