Maine Hall of Fame Members


Maurice Mathieu
AKA: Fiddlin' Lou Mathieu

Lou became interested in the fiddle at the age of 16 under the influence of his father, who was quite a fiddler himself. They played many duets together in the early days.

He joined the Air Force in 1942 and was stationed in England and was well known in the local area for his fiddle playing. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to playing music with Yodelin' Ike and the Hillbilly Jamboree. This was his first professional job. They played on WTVL in Waterville every Saturday. In the early 1950's the group played on WABL-TV in Bangor.

In 1957, Lou moved to Westbrook and retired from playing until he met Canadian Fiddler Alphie Martin. They played twin fiddles until 1964, when Lou won Don Doane Sr.'s Fiddle contest and he hired Lou to join the Katahdin Mountaineers. Don and Lou played music together for the next 25 years.

Lou is now leader of a well-known group of musicians called "The Maine French Fiddlers." They have performed at the 50th National Folk Festival in Lowell, Mass., Carnegie Hall in November 1990, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City and The John Drew Theater in East Hampton, New York.

Lou and his musician friends especially enjoy playing for groups of Senior Citizens in nursing homes in the area of Southern Maine.


Russell H. Kempton
AKA: Rusty Rogers

Rusty started in show business in 1939 at the age of 16; as a singing and yodeling guitarist. He worked with the Downeasters on WCOU in Lewiston, WDEV in Waterbury, Vt. and WHEB in Portsmouth, N.H.. He became the New England Yodeling Champion in 1942.

From 1943 - 1946 he served with the U.S. Army in the European Theatre and Africa. After his discharge, He became one of the original owners of Radio Ranch in Kittery, Maine. In late 1946, he moved to KFEQ in St. Joseph, Missouri with the Downeasters. He later joined the Downhomers as a lead singer and yodeler, broadcasting with them out of WTIC in Hartford, Ct. He appeared on the Arthur Godfrey show and has also worked with many famous names such as; Roy Rogers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gabby Hayes, Eddie Arnold, Patsy Montana, Dick Curless, Ken MacKenzie, Tony and Juanita, Elton Britt and many more.

In 1954 he left the Downhomers and went into professional wrestling while continuing to perform musically, playing throughout New England. He had his own TV show on NBC in 1958.

Today he has his own landscaping business but still plays occasional club dates and continues to teach guitar. Rusty is also a charter member of the New England Country Music Historical Society. He also works for the Guitar Glove Company in artist relations.


Eldridge A. Lovley
Ebb Lovely

Ebb Lovely is called one of the true pioneers of Maine Country Music. He made his first appearance on stage at the age of six. He learned to play guitar by watching other performers and later accompanied his father, an old time fiddler.

He enlisted and served two years in the U.S. Army. He married in 1947. They have 6 children. In 1954, Ebb was a part of a country show on Aroostook's first T.V. station operated at Loring Air Force Base. He was later a regular feature on WAGM-TV in Presque Isle. His band was one of the most popular traveling in Maine and Canada, playing at service clubs at Loring and Presque Isle military installations and VFW in Caribou, and he and his children have participated in most of the Aroostook County Parades.

Ebb has been guest entertainer for the Down East Country Music Association many times. He has also made 2 albums with his daughters. He was honored last October, with a Special Recognition Award for dedicated service to Country Music. During his 34 years as an entertainer, he has performed for many audiences gaining a great amount of recognition and respect. Ebb Lovley Appreciation Day was held on May 20 to honor his contribution to country music.


Roland E. Valliere
AKA: Smokey Val

Smokey was born of French Canadian parents. His interest in Country music started at an early age while listening to country artists on the radio. In 1945, while in the service, he learned to play the fiddle, and has never stopped.

In his early years, he played with Al Hawkes and the Cumberland Ridge Runners on WIDE in Biddeford and WLAM in Lewiston. He also worked with Tiny Martin and the Country Siders. In 1969, he and Jimmy Cox formed Maine Grass and later teamed up with Charlie Gilliam as The Blue Mountain Boys.

Smokey spent 10-12 years playing with White Mountain Bluegrass. During this time they toured Holland and Germany. He was also on the Ken MacKenzie Show as a regular for 5 years.

Today he is with Allan "Mac" McHale & The Old Time Radio Gang playing fiddle and dobro.

He has been actively at work in country music for over 47 years touring the New England States, New York, Canada, Holland, Germany and Austria. He has recorded with White Mountain Bluegrass, Blue Mountain Boys, Maine Grass, Coastline Charlie, Tiny Martin and Al Hawkes. Smokey also designs, builds and sells custom dobros.


Russell L. Adams
AKA: Russ Adams

Russ started singing at age five. He received his first guitar at age 14. In 1953 he appeared on the Ken MacKenzie show and later played the Biddeford/Saco area in a combo with Don Burnham.

While serving in the Navy, he played in California and Japan. He later joined the Stardusters playing at Lakeland and as house band at the VFW and Moose Lodge in South Portland.

In 1978 he joined Country Fever as lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. He has appeared at many benefits, Hall of Fame and Annual Award Shows, picnics, the Poulin Pioneer Show, Beaverbrook Jamboree and WPOR's Mini Cruise.

Among the awards that Russ has won are the Vocal Duo with Herbie Lambert, Male Vocalist at the Hayseed Festival in New Hampshire and the Male Vocalist and Barry Deane Awards from the Maine Country Music Association. He was instrumental in getting the Hall of Fame Mobile Unit completed.

He is a very active member of the Maine Country Music Association serving on several committees. He has been on the Board of Directors and at present is a member of the Maine Country People Staff. He has been a member of the Country Fever Band for 15 years. They have won Country Band of the Year for 10 years.


Herbert Hamilton
AKA: Deke Hamilton

Herbert (Deke) Hamilton started playing banjo in 1931, studying with Tom Robbins, Maine's banjo king. During his career he has played with several bands including Uncle Lem, Ted Clawson & The Downeasters, The Kentucky Ramblers, The Presumpscot River Bottom Boys and the Katahdin Mountaineers. He also had his own group called The Country Square Dance Band and for 14 straight years they played for the New England Square Dance Festival. During the "Depression Years" of the 1930's, Deke free-lanced in different groups around the State, making "Big Money" of $2.00 a night with his model A Ford with gasoline at 25 cents a gallon and having fun.

Deke also plays guitar, bass and organ, which he taught himself to play and has composed several songs. He has played on radio stations WHEB in Portsmouth and WCSH and WGAN in Portland.

The highlight of his career was in 1957 when Don Doane, Sr. asked him to join the Katahdin Mountaineers where he remained for over 30 years until Don's death in 1989.

At 82 years old, he is still very active and currently plays for nursing homes and churches around the area.


Kendall Morse

Born on the New England Coast, Kendall Morse was exposed to Country Music at an early age and was influenced by Roy Acuff, Wilf Carter, Slim Clark, Gene Hooper and Burl Ives. Learning a few chords from "Cousin Gene Hooper," he was invited to perform on shows. Although he gravitated to folk music, he still enjoys singing the old "Hillbilly" songs.

Kendall is the grand nephew of storyteller, "Uncle Curt Morse" and his interest in him was the beginning of a large collection of Maine humor and "Downeast" stories. He has recorded these stories in an album. He also has an album of Irish, American and English Traditional songs.

When he met Pete Seeger, he was on his way to becoming a folk singer. His music has taken him to every corner of the State of Maine plus concerts and festivals in many other states. He has also toured Scotland. He was chosen to represent Maine on the TODAY show during their series on America in 1976.

Kendall is known as a "Downeast Humorist and Folksinger." His songs and stories have been praised by many, including Pete Seeger, Gordon Bok and Marshall Dodge. He has been voted FOLKSINGER OF THE YEAR three years by the Maine Country Music Association.


Ira Salley
AKA: Yodel' Ike Salley

Ira (Yodelin' Ike) began singing, yodeling and playing the harmonica at age 10. He learned to play guitar at 13 and by age 15 was playing professionally. He first played on radio station WRDO in Augusta at age 17 and later formed his own band, The Drifting Texans, and played on radio stations and in the theatres, town and Grange halls in the local areas.

While in the Army in 1943, he played on the Air Force Network in Europe plus the Red Cross, Officer and Service Clubs. He received the Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Medal.

In 1946 he returned home and formed the Hillbilly Jamboree and performed for 10 continuous years on radio station WTVL in Waterville. He has appeared with Ken MacKenzie, Tony & Juanita, Cowboy Caravan, Ray Little, Lone Pine, Doc Williams and Hawkshaw Hawkins. For the past 15 years he has been entertaining at the Muskie Senior Citizens Center plus hospitals and nursing homes in the area.

Ike plays rhythm guitar, lead guitar, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, steel guitar, mandolin and harmonica. He is also a licensed pilot and an active licensed auctioneer.


Marcel Maurice Giasson

Marcel learned to play piano from his mother who was a piano teacher. He formed his first band, Mike and His Hillbillies, at age 12. He moved to Bangor at age 16 and joined Lone Pine and Betty Cody as a featured performer on the show.

While in the Army, he was in Special Services and played the organ in the chapel plus playing requests for the amputees in the hospital.

Returning home, he rejoined Lone Pine and Betty Cody. He became popular as a back-up artist working with Dick Curless, Gene Hooper, Doc & Chickie Williams, Ken MacKenzie among others. He also played for over 1000 weddings through the years, plus playing music seven nights a week in the Lewiston/Auburn area.

In 1979, 1980 and 1981 he was instrumental in putting together the Franco-American Festival, playing fiddle, accordion and keyboards. In 1981, he semi-retired because of the effects of diabetes. His last performance was in 1984, 52 years after his first one. He passed away on September 1, 1985. He has two sons who are still active in Maine Country Music.


Beverly Dodge
"Beverly The Prarie Sweetheart"

Beverly got her first guitar as a Christmas gift from her mother when she was in high school. She taught herself to play from an instruction book and by listening to records. In 1937 she had a weekly show on WRDO in Augusta. She also worked as a dental assistant until 1940 when Ken MacKenzie asked her to join his show.

In 1941 she teamed up with "Sagebrush" Jim Marshall and played remotes from Lewiston City Hall on WCOU. They later ran the Lone Star Ranch in New Hampshire. They also broadcast from WFEA in Manchester and WLAW in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She also did all the booking for the ranch.

Beverly was seriously injured in an auto accident that took Jim's life. When she was able to go back to work, she broadcast from WHEB in Portsmouth, six mornings a week with Bill Waters. She did solo work for the "Swingbillies" on WFEA and "Pappy Howard" in Hartford.

From 1947 to 1971 she was playing records and promoting big names in Country Music over WFAU in Augusta. She returned to Maine where she retired from music in 1971 and went to work for Key Bank until 1988 when she again retired to her home in Litchfield to tend her flowers, feed the birds and do a bit of traveling.


Allan F. McHale
Allan "Mac" McHale

Allan McHale, born and raised in Bangor, Maine, was influenced at an early age by the live country music of Gene Hooper, Hal Lone Pine and Smiling Bill Waters on WLBZ and WABI in Bangor. He start playing banjo at age 18.

From 1965 to 1968 he had a Hootenanny Show that toured Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. His group was called The Larkin Hill Singers. From 1969 to 1971 he played mandolin and sang tenor with the Nonesuch River Singers performing throughout New England.

In 1972 he joined the White Mountain Bluegrass Band in Portsmouth, New Hampshire playing mandolin and handling bookings and business affairs. He started the Northeast Winds band in 1978 which became New England's most popular traditional Irish music group. They recorded 5 albums, 2 videos and did many TV and PBS specials.

The Old Time Radio Gang was formed in 1987 and they still keep a busy schedule playing traditional American country music in grange halls, school halls and town halls. Allan is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the old time country music.

When he is not on tour, Allan is busy running Kennebunk River Productions.


Lucky Tim Farrell
AKA: Tim Farrell

Tim Farrell has been playing the fiddle since the age of 10 when he played backup on WKDO radio in Augusta. During his high school days, he and his brother Tommy put together a road show and played grange halls, churches and high schools in the area. After high school, he went to work for Curly O'Brien on Channel 2 in Bangor.

He worked with Shorty Thomas and the Country Caravan and Fred Pike and The Kennebec Valley Boys on Channel 5 doing double shows with many artists such as Patsy Cline, Hank Snow, Bill Monroe, Doc Williams, Little Jimmy Dickens and many others. He played for the Porter Wagner show while traveling in Canada.

In more recent years, he has played from Maine to Florida with several bands and in 1979 was backup for Doc Williams in Wheeling, West Virginia. He spent time in Nashville doing studio recordings and worked with the legendary Buddy Spicher on his radio show playing twin fiddle.

Tim won the New England Fiddle Championship in 1970. In 1981 we won MCMA Instrumentalist of the Year. He was awarded Maine's Best Country Music Songwriter and Best Recording by DECMA in 1982. He has recorded two singles and four albums.


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