Vee Latty - Fever in the South (MSOTFA 101)

by Vee Latty - fiddle; Marie Latty - Hawaiian guitar



Vee V. Latty was born near Fulton, Callaway County, Missouri, in 1910 and began playing at the age of ten. He won the 1927/28 Missouri state fiddling championship broadcast of WOS radio station out of Jefferson City. Vee competed first on October 28, 1927, against 52 fiddlers from north of the Missouri River. Another 53 fiddlers from south of the river competed on November 25th. The contest culminated in a championship on December 30, which pitted five winners from each side of the river against each other. The winner was determined by counting the audience response: 1 point for a postcard, 2 points for a letter and 10 points for a long-distance phone call or telegram. 1347 listeners cast votes for Latty, giving him a total of 5621 points and the title.
Just hours prior to the preliminary round for the state contest of 1929, Latty had the misfortune to lose parts of three fingers on his left hand in a power saw. Owing to his popularity across the state, the accident was widely reported, with most accounts assuming that he would never play again. One letter, however, from the wife of C. A. Anderson, Commissioner of the State Marketing Bureau (the agency charged with operating the radio station), held out hope that “it may not prove as severe a loss as we think and that you may at some time in the future be able to resume your playing and be able to give pleasure to many thousands who have enjoyed listening to you.” This hope was fulfilled when Latty returned to play on WOS just a few months after the accident.
Over the years Latty played at numerous contests and also frequently served as a contest judge. He played extensively over the radio through the 1936, at which time he retired from broadcasting for fifteen years. During this time he and his wife continued to play for countless home and private parties, barbecues, lodge meetings and dances in the area. He returned to the airwaves again on June 15, 1951 over station KMCM in Moberly, Missouri.
Latty was invariably accompanied by his wife, Marie, playing an electric Hawaiian guitar, and they were sometimes joined by the son Wayne on guitar. He openly acknowledged his wife’s contribution, stating after winning the 1927 championship victory “I want to give my wife a great deal of credit for my success. She has accompanied me in all my playing on the guitar, ans that has been a big factor in enabling me to win.”
Vee Latty died in 1956.
The tapes from which this recording was produced were made around 1955.


released May 6, 2015

Cover photo courtesy Wayne Latty
Biography - Bill Shull
Special thanks yo Wayne Latty for carefully preserving these recordings made in the 1950s on reel-to-reel tape and then sharing them with MSOTFA.



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