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Slim Andrews
File:File:A picture of entertainer, promoter and musician "Slim" Andrews.jpg
Born Leonard Andrews Huntington, Jr.[1]
June 14, 1931(1931-06-14) (age 89)
Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Booking agent, Television presenter, Vocalist, Musician
Years active 1942-2017

Slim Andrews, born Leonard Andrews Huntington, Jr. on June 14, 1931, is a Maine country music artist with seven decades of performing at the local and regional levels.[2] He began his music career in 1942 at the age of eleven when he won a talent contest at the Community Theater in New Auburn, ME.[1] He got his first guitar at this time and spent 75 years of his life entertaining throughout the South and Northeast.

Early years and military serviceEdit

When Slim was six months old, his family moved to Auburn, ME, and he remained there until his mother died. In 1946, he then moved back to Dorchester, MA. After graduating from high school in 1948, Slim joined the U.S. Army and spent three years and three months in Germany where, in addition to his military service which included participating in the Berlin Airlift during the Blockade, he entertained the troops periodically on special assignments. After his honorable discharge from the Army, Slim married his high school sweetheart, fathered five sons and one daughter, and moved forward with his career as a country music performer with several groups in the southeastern Massachusetts area. One of his first gigs was in 1954 at "Nick's Place" on Nantasket beach in Hull, MA.[3] From 1952 to 1954, Slim played at several churches with his friend and "button" accordionist, Victor Jenkins.

Career growthEdit

In 1958 Slim formed the Berkshire Mountain Boys based in Brockton, MA. After 13 years there, he returned to Maine in 1971 and formed the Cumberland Valley Boys. In 1976 Slim established the State of Maine Country Music Awards Show with Gini Eaton of the Single Spur in Windham, ME.[3] Together they started the Slim Andrews Enterprises Booking Agency. After the divorce from Slim's first wife, Pearl, Slim married Gini in 1979 and they continued to run the Single Spur and the booking agency together. The booking agency brought many Nashville acts to venues throughout New England and upstate New York, including clubs, fairs, and TV and radio shows. Some of the well known acts that Slim booked during this period included; Nat Stuckey, Grandpa Jones, Johnny Russell, Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys, and Barbara Fairchild. It was also during this time that Slim put together an annual State of Maine Country Music All Star Review of Top Maine Talent that included other New England award-winning performers.[4] In 1980, Slim was cited by the Maine Sunday Telegram as one of the most influential drivers of country music in Maine, along with two other Maine country music pioneers, Dick Curless and Al Hawkes.[5] In the 1980s Single Spur was reinvented and reintroduced as the Silver Spur, a full service restaurant, bar and club.[6] In 1977, Slim and Gini, along with Barry Deane, founded the Maine Country Music Association with Slim becoming the acting president until regular officers were elected in July of that year.[7]

In early 1979, Slim approached Windham's representative to the state legislature, William Diamond, and asked him to sponsor a bill that would exempt club owners from having to pay an unemployment tax for part-time musicians that the musicians would never be able to collect. Slim's efforts in this matter paid off when the governor of Maine, Joseph E. Brennan, signed into law on April 13 legislation that ended this practice.[1]

On February 4, 1980, on Maine's NBC affiliate WCSH 6, Maine country music made its debut on the Tangents show hosted by Lew Colby. The Tangents show ran on Sundays at 11:15 p.m. In the fall of 1980, Slim Andrews and Bud Bailey helped to produce a one-hour show consisting of performances by the top four country bands appearing in Maine at the time.[2] This show is has been archived and is now available digitally.

In 1985 the responsibilities of Slim's "day job" required that Slim and Gini and the kids move to Kalamazoo, MI, where they stayed until 1990. Slim went to Kalamazoo to open a general agency there through contacts he made as Director of Agencies for Texas-based American Income Life in Portland, ME (Day job hat). In a partnership with Harvey and Myrna Knapp, Slim was able to build a general agency in the Senior Insurance Market of Medicare Supplemental and Long Term Care Insurance. During this time in Kalamazoo, Slim's wife, Gini, got breast cancer and the move to a warmer climate in Savannah, GA in 1990 was made for Gini's sake. Savannah was chosen as their home for the next ten years because Gini loved it, and the demographics for senior citizens was ideal for Slim's continued service to the senior insurance market. While living in Michigan, Slim continued to appear with various country groups as a single entertainer, quite frequently with an old friend from Maine, Dale Bennett. They, in fact, performed for the Executive Board of the Michigan AFL/CIO in Harrison, MI.[2]

1990 found the family relocating to Savannah, GA where Slim continued his music career. He created the American Legion Band in Savannah known as the "Country Vets," which was an outreach program aimed at veterans in nursing homes and retirement communities. They returned to Maine in 2000, and in May 2001, Gini passed away after 14 years of fighting cancer.[2]

Later yearsEdit

In 2002, Slim was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and in this year he also married his present wife, Carole Ann. In 2004, Slim reprised "The Cumberland Valley Boys" with Vicki James. In May 2005, after 63 years in the country music business, Slim recorded and released his first album, "Favorites For A Lifetime," consisting of eleven songs. Six of these songs are original songs written by Slim and his son, Jamie. The three songs that Slim wrote by himself deal with the changing seasons in his life; the birth of his son, Jamie, his marriage to Gini and her subsequent death, and his signature song, "The Autumn of Our Lives," which tells of his marriage to his third wife, Carole Ann. Slim has recorded several albums and over 200 songs.

In 2017 at the age of 86, Slim Andrews set an all time airplay record for a Maine country music artist. In addition to that, he also set a record for chart appearances by a Maine country music artist on the International Mainstream Country Music Charts.[2]

Slim is, and continues to be, the Chairman of the Induction Committee for the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame. He also serves on the Board of Directors for this organization. He continues to be a major spokesperson for the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame Museum which he helped to establish. The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is one of only a few museums of this nature in the entire country.

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • Inducted Into The Maine Country Music Hall Of Fame 2002[8][9][10]
  • Duke Knight Memorial Award from The Maine Country Music Association 2003, 2006
  • American Legion Post 197 Commander's Award 2006, 2009
  • Trailblazer Award From The Pine Tree State Country Music Association 2006
  • Gospel Song of The Year From The Maine Country Music Association 2006
  • Maine Ole' Opry Award From The Pine Tree State Country Music Association 2007
  • Living Legend Award From The Maine Academy of Country Music 2008
  • Hal Lone Pine Memorial Award From the Maine Country Music Association
  • Album Of the Year Award From the Maine Country Music Association 2010
  • Rusty Rogers Award From The Pine Tree State Country Music Association 2011
  • Lifetime Achievement Award From Maine Academy of Country Music 2016
  • Induction Into The Massachusetts Country Music Awards Association Hall of Fame 2016

Personal lifeEdit

Slim has been married three times. His first two wives, Pearl and Gini died from terminal illnesses. Along the way, Slim lost three of his six children, and he, himself, has survived two cancer diagnoses. Several years ago he battled throat cancer. This condition altered Slim's voice and gave him a light rasp, but did not deter him from performing. He was recently diagnosed with colon cancer which at this time is not considered to be terminal. He currently performs between 75 and 100 shows a year.[11]

DiscographyEdit

2005 "Favorites For A Lifetime"
2006 "Simply Slim With Harry"
2008 "Through The Years"—Slim Andrews and The Cumberland Valley Revue
2009 "Slim Andrews and His Alvarez"
2011 "Slim Andrews Sings Irish"

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Most Interesting Person". Courier Free Press. July 3, 1979. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 LaFlamme, Mark. "At 82, Maine country legend Slim Andrews continues to display his power.". Sun Journal. Archived from the original on 20 November 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20171120224629/http://www.sunjournal.com/82-maine-country-legend-slim-andrews-continues-display-power/. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Rounding Up The Best". Maine Sunday Telegram SOUNDTRACK, Portland Press Herald. September 21, 1977. 
  4. Saunders, Steve (October 13, 1983). "Country Music Awards Sunday". Portland Maine Evening Express. 
  5. "The Top 20.". Maine Sunday Telegram. June 3, 1979. 
  6. "The Silver Spur Saloon". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX5G50uhqDc. Retrieved 21 November 2017. 
  7. "Days of Plenty for Slim Andrews". Portland Maine Evening Express. April 7, 1978. https://imgur.com/a/UQTPk. 
  8. "Maine Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum". May 9, 2017. https://lametromagazine.com/maine-country-music-hall-fame-museum/. 
  9. "Slim Andrews 85 Never Too Old To Be a Country Star". June 19, 2016. https://whisnews21.com/2016/06/19/slim-andrews-85-never-too-old-to-be-a-country-star/. 
  10. LaFlamme, Mark (August 18, 2013). "At 82, Maine country legend Slim Andrews continues to display his power.". http://www.sunjournal.com/82-maine-country-legend-slim-andrews-continues-display-power/. 
  11. Sherlock, Steve. "Slim Andrews, 85, proves you’re never too old to be a country star". Sun Journal. Archived from the original on 20 November 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20171120224652/http://www.sunjournal.com/slim-andrews-85-proves-never-old-country-star/. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 

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