Grand Ole Opry Legend Dies After Long Battle With Cancer

After a long battle with cancer, founding member of The Time Jumpers and former fiddler player at the Grand Ole Opry, Hubert “Hoot” Hester, died at age 65.

The fiddler player was born in and on a Kentucky farm to the name Hubert Dwayne Hester on August 13, 1951. He acquired his stage name “Hoot” at the age of two when he was nicknamed after a popular cowboy actor, Hoot Gibson.  He quickly developed a love for music, first learning to play the piano by the time he was nine and then picking up his famed fiddle soon after.

Hoot found his beginnings as a professional fiddler with Bluegrass Alliance in Louisville before moving to Nashville in 1973 after receiving a massive amount of job offers after placing fifth in a competition amongst prominent people in the industry including Chet Atkins. Throughout Hoot’s career he has played backup for an impressive number of country music artists including Hank Williams Jr., Conway Twitty, and Randy Travis.

Hester was a part of the Grand Ole Opry staff from 2000 to 2014 and spent his remaining years of performing playing alongside his daughter, Rachael Hester, at Nashville’s acclaimed honky tonk, Robert’s Western World.

Arrangements for the funeral service are currently on hold but tentatively scheduled for the weekend to be held at the First Baptist Church in Dickson, Tennessee.