Hillbilly-Music.com—The People. The Music. The History.
Morris (Sleepy) Marlin
Born:  August 7, 1915
Died:  January 20, 2011
Renfro Valley Barn Dance
WLW Boone County Jamboree
WHAS Louisville, KY
WLS Chicago, IL
WLW Cincinnati, OH

About The Artist

Sleepy Marlin was born back in 1915 in Southern Illinois to a family that owned a farm. Took up the fiddle rather early - they wrote he was born with it practically in his hands. He started his radio career when he was just 18, with a band he had called the "Drifting Pioneers" and got a bit of a reputation. But World War II broke up that act.

When he got out of the service, he was in Louisville, Kentucky in 1948 to start his career up again. And he got it started again in a big way. He entered the National Fiddle Contest at the Kentucky State competition and took the first prize two years running.

Those feats got him noticed and led to appearances as a guest on Faye Emerson's "Wonderful Town" show that aired on the CBS-TV network out of New York. He was also on the Canadian Broadcasting Company network that was coast to coast Canada. And also guested on the National Barn Dance that aired over WLS in Chicago.

Mid 1954 found him with WHAS radio in Louisville, Kentucky, a CBS network affiliate.

Sleepy didn't rest on us US National laurels in fiddling competition. In 1953, he entered the Canadian National Fiddle contest, an annual event hosted in Shelburne, Ontario and took first place there, too, becoming the "Canadian National Champion Novelty Fiddler".

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup No. 32; June 1954; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.