anita sorrells wheeler, georgia fiddler
In 1920, 15-year-old Anita Sorrells from Cobb Co. got 2nd place in the highly-celebrated Georgia Oldtime Fiddlers Convention. In 1931 and again in 1934, by then married with kids (married name Wheeler), she won the whole thing. According to Wayne Daniel, who kicks off his book Pickin' on a Peachtree: A History of Country Music in Atlanta, Georgia with an outstanding chapter on the era of the Fiddlers Convention, Anita Wheeler was the only woman ever to win during the convention's 1913-1935 run. This Youtube video is only example I can find so far of her music, recorded when she was 82 years old (first there's a charming interview, and then the music starts at 3:18). The fiddle is a bit out of tune, but her bow arm is still dynamite.
I hope this not all we have to hear what she sounded like ... There must be a radio broadcast transcript somewhere from her touring days with the Oklahoma Cowgirls or the Dixie String Band? Anyway, if anyone reading this has a lead on other sound or video files, or even just tune transcriptions, please leave a comment below or send us a message!
Here's a link to a picture of the lovely young Ms. Wheeler and her fiddle.