Fiddling Dwight Moody
I was born on December 26, 1929 in Mecklenburg County Virginia in the Town of La Crosse. I grew up here where I attended La Crosse High School. I learned to play guitar and mandolin from my Uncle and Aunt. My uncle was a violinist and played in the Richmond Satellite Orchestra and my aunt was a pianist and guitar player. My first profession gig was playing with my Uncle and Aunt for the Governor of Virginia in Lunenburg County for a Democrat Rally. When my Uncle passed away he left me his violin so this started a great love for wanting to play as well as he did.
For the first few years I played for the local farmers during corn shucking seasons, barn raising and for my school and church. In 1945 I began forming my first 5 piece band, The Virginia Playboys. In 1947 I played my first radio program over Radio Station WHNC in Henderson, North Carolina as a member of The White Owl Future Farmers of America Band. Later that year I started a Saturday Morning Broadcast over Radio Station WKLV in Blackstone, Virginia featuring my band “The Virginia Playboys”.
After finishing High School “The Virginia Playboys” was hired by The New Grape Bottling Company to open the first franchise in State of Florida. New Grape was just starting. We did a early morning program over WOBS Metropolitan Broadcast System in Jacksonville and made appearance on the Florida Hayride.
In 1948 I started playing fiddle for “Tommy Little and The Sunrise Ranger” working over Radio Station WTIK in Durham, North Carolina. Here I met my wife Cathy who was the sister of Tommy and played the Standup Bass (or Bull Fiddle) in his band.
In 1948 I joined “The Carolina Woodchoppers” with the Waltz King of the Nation, Clyde Moody and toured the Southeast from Virginia to Florida and from Washington DC to Mississippi. Made first appearances on The World Famous WSM Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
I returned to school in 1950 and attended Smithdeal Massey Business College in Richmond, Virginia. While in college I continued to freelance working special shows with artist from Nashville. I made my first appearance with Hank Snow (the Canadian Artist) in Norfolk Virginia at the Armory.
Uncle Sam called in 1951 and said “I Need You” so I spent two years in service. First, training with the 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles) in Camp Breackingridge, Kentucky. Played fiddle and guitar in the USO Special Service Band and attended the 42nd Tank Battalion Leadership School. Shipped out to the Far East at the end of 1951 and landed in Korea with the 5th Regimental Combat Team where I received: The Combat Infantry Badge, Three Battle Stars, the Presidential Unit Citations, President Syngman Rhee Ribbon, Republic of Korea Ribbon, United Nations Ribbon, Patch for 5th RCT- 24th and 25rt Infantry, The Korean War Medal and the Medal of Freedom.
After service in 1953 married Cathy and worked for The Durham Life Insurance Company and Southland Life Insurance Company in Durham, North Carolina. During this time I worked weekends playing Square Dances and a Radio Broadcast over WDNC (The Durham Morning Herald Station) with The Black Mountain Boys.
I returned to school attending Pastors School at Louisburg College in Louisburg North Carolina. Finished two years and transferred to Methodist College in Fayetteville, North Carolina for two more years and during this time was Pastor of Cumberland Mills Methodist Church in Cumberland, North Carolina. Attended summer Pastors School at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina for three summers. Founded Lamon Records in 1962 recording four gospel songs for the building fund and did a Radio Show 5 days a week over WFNC in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Moved to the Salisbury District in 1965 and pastured three churches in the Charlotte Area, Mill Grove Methodist, in Midland, North Carolina, Pine Bluff Methodist in Locust, North Carolina and Saint Paul in Concord, North Carolina.
In 1966 started full time School of Music in Locust, North Carolina and later moved School to Charlotte, North Carolina. I was asked to do the Chapel Service at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina working with the Dowd Maye’s Men’s Class and the Annie Cordell Class. This was a great experience that lasted for 21 years.
In the late the sixties “The Dwight & Cathy Moody Show” aired over Television Station WCTU Channel #36 in Charlotte and Channel #48 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Founded Laymond Publishing Company (BMI) in 1971 and began publishing music in all fields of music. Became a member of Rotary in 1977 and started going to the Rotary International Conventions in 1979, first trip to Rome, Italy. Two years later in 1980 was the Founder the Mint Hill- Matthews Rotary Club where I still attend today and am known as Founding Father of the Club.
were nominated for the Grammy’s in 1985. I played fiddle on the
old tune “Cotton Eyed Joe”. They became a part of the “Take
Pride In American” program to clean up the national parks and streams
in America. Made an appearance with President Ronald Reagan on the South
Lawn at the White House and later traveled in the campaign to elect George
H. Bush and Dan Quayle for President.
In 1989 returned to Korea and received “The Medal of Freedom” badge along with 123 other fellow service men.
In the nineties began playing fiddle for the WBT Briarhoppers, the oldest tradition band in the world. In 2001 we received the “Brown Hudson Award” from the Folk Society of Charlotte Mecklenburg and in 2003 the” North Carolina Folk Heritage Award”. I am also a member of the “Old Time Radio Gang” and work out of Melbourne, Florida in the winter. The group was organized in 1994. In 2004 I continue to work with the Briarhoppers and also am the fiddler for The Jones Brothers and The Log Cabin Boys.
My wife and I have visited and performed in twenty two countries around the world. I am the father of three sons, Carlton, David and Trent, known professionally as “The Moody Brothers”. I have two fine daughters-in- laws and one who lost her life to breast cancer in 2001, seven grandchildren, four boys and three girls, two of which are French-Americans having been born in France. I am a Mason and member of Keystone Lodge #726, a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Charlotte, member of Oasis Temple, a Rotarian, a member of Hickory Grove United Methodist Church all of these are located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I lost my wife Cathy on November 27th 2003 to kidney and lung cancer. We had been married just under 50 years and had been a singing duet for over 54 years. I miss her dearly so keep me in your prayers.
For more information, contact:
7124A Matthews Mint Hill Road
Charlotte, NC 28227