You are hereDoc Morrill of "Down Home Country" to be Inducted into Maine Country Music Hall of Fame!

Doc Morrill of "Down Home Country" to be Inducted into Maine Country Music Hall of Fame!


Doc Morrill, the longtime host of Down Home Country, Thursday mornings at 9:00-10:00 (rebroadcast on Sunday mornings at 5:00-6:00) on WERU, will be inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame on June 11.  He’s had a long and noteworthy career in country music and this recognition is well earned.  About his induction, Doc said, “I don’t have much to say, but that I’m ecstatic about it.  I’ve been playing music since I was 16 years old, so if I can make it through my next birthday in August, I’ll be in the business 70 years.  Seven decades.  That’s a long time, but I love it.”

How did Doc get started in country music?  “I worked in the shoe manufacturing business, and there was a guy who worked next to me who was an accordion player.  They used to play music over the loudspeaker and I’d sing.  He said to me, ‘I’ve got a radio show, do you want to come down and sing a song or two?’  So he hired me to do the show every week and I did the show about two months and I got into another band.  I got introduced to the steel player Marlo Tee, who had a TV show.  When I played on the radio at first, there was no TV in this area.  I went down and did a couple of songs on TV!  I was a little scared, but I did OK.”

“When I was about 20, he came up to my house and asked if I knew where I could find a rhythm guitar player.  Being new, I didn’t know anybody.  He said ‘What about you?’  I said I couldn’t do that steady, I’d go bananas.  He said ‘why don’t you come down and give it a try,’ and I did, and I played with him, Shorty Thomas on the Country Caravan Show, a long time then went over and played with Curly O’Brien a long time.  We had about the best band around.  That’s how I got started in country music.”

Doc has played with some big names, like Faron Young and Carl Smith at the Bangor Auditorium, played at the NCO club at Dow Field with Bill Monroe, with Johnny Russell at the Maine Mall, and with Lefty Frisell at the Lone Star Ranch in Reeds Ferry, NH.

Doc is a highly trained volunteer DJ who has, in fact, attended the New England School of Broadcasting (now known as the New England School of Communications).  Doc says, “I can’t stand to see country going city, so I wanted to learn to be a DJ so I could change that a little bit.  I was an introvert.  I could sing, but I couldn’t talk, so they taught me to do all that.”  Doc was hosting a show on the Colby College radio station when he met WERU volunteer DJ Tommy Dean (who has since passed away), who lured him to WERU and Down Home Country, where he’s been ever since.

Doc wants to stem the tide of the “new country” format found elsewhere all over the radio dial by playing independent and traditional country music.  “The only way we can keep our type of country music alive are rebels like me.”  We’re sure glad to have a rebel like Doc at the helm of Down Home Country.

- Susan Dickson Smith

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