Speck Rhodes (Gilbert Ray Rhodes)
BiographyWest Plains, Missouri, USA
Known to millions of fans for his work on the weekly Porter Wagoner television show. Born Gilbert Ray Rhodes in the southern Missouri town of West Plains in 1915, Speck was one of six children. All were musical, but the three boys -- Speck, Slim, and Dusty -- were turning professional by the time they were in their teens. By 1934 they were touring the RKO vaudeville circuit as the Log Cabin Mountaineers. Later on, Dusty became a fiddle champion, and Slim organized one of the best-known radio bands in the Memphis-Arkansas area. Read more... lot of bass fiddle and developed his comic character. In 1960 Speck auditioned for the new TV show Porter Wagoner was starting in Nashville. Though both he and Porter had come from West Plains, and though they knew each other, they had not worked together before. The chemistry was there, though, and Speck began an association with Porter that would last over 20 years. His colleagues in the show were banjoist Buck Trent, dancing fiddler Mack Magaha, guitarist George McCormick and Don Warden.