Hoot Hester, Kentucky fiddler and noted Nashville session player, has died today. He was 65 years of age and had been struggling with cancer.
Born Hubert Duane Hester on August 13, 1951, Hoot had worked as a staff musician at the Grand Ole Opry, and played for a time with Bill Monroe and The Whites. He also found work with a number of top country artists like Donna Fargo, Mel Tillis, and Jerry Reed.
By 1980 the home life was calling to Hester and he began to specialize in session work in Nashville’s many recording and television studios. But he cemented his place in Nashville lore when he and Dennis Crouch started a swing band in 1997 called The Time Jumpers, who continue performing to this day.
He was also a regular at Nashville’s Grand Master Fiddler Championship where he is a former top five finisher. The competition will be held again this weekend, and they will be missing their long time friend.
He will be remembered for the joy he took in his music, and his family, and his humor and wit.
Arrangements have not yet been finalized, but tentative plans call for visitation this Friday afternoon and funeral services on Saturday at First Baptist Church in Dickson, TN.
R.I.P., Hoot Hester.