The Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree has a new President and Coordinator. Born in Gainesboro and raised in the Bloomington Springs Community of Putnam Co. Sam Stout was elected to the position at a meeting of Jamboree board on Thursday night, February 9. Stout succeeds Jack Barton, who resigned as Jamboree President and Coordinator on February 2, after a nine-year tenure.
Born to James and the late Birdie Stout, Sam Stout grew up in a musical family that included two older brothers. At the age of 9, Stout began playing guitar and soon picked up the mandolin, as well. After high school, Stout started playing in country bands, and soon began pursuing music as a full-time career. Among his musical accomplishments during that time was serving as an opening act for guitar legend Chet Atkins and well-known Nashville songwriter Dean Dillon, who penned several of George Strait's number-one hits. Stout also worked in Nashville in the recording industry as a demo singer, in hopes of landing a major recording contract.
After several years of struggling to make it in the country music industry, Stout returned to his first love, which was Bluegrass music. While holding down a full-time job, Stout started a Bluegrass band called Stoney Lonesome, which enjoyed a great deal of regional success. It was during this time Stout, along with Randall Clemons and Chris Neeley, launched the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour in Granville, TN. In the beginning, the Music Hour was covered by one small radio station in Thompkinsville, KY. Today, after nine years, the weekly show is now broadcast by 45 radio stations worldwide, including AM 650 WSM Radio in Nashville, the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Professional and semi-professional bluegrass bands are featured on the weekly show, which also goes across both the state of Tennessee and all across the country on PBS stations.
Stout says his love for music – and the Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree – runs deep. "I can never remember not being surrounded by music," he said. "My father, James, plays the Dobro. He actually was the one who first brought me to the Jamboree before I could even play an instrument. I love the Jamboree and what it stands for. It is a true Tennessee tradition."
Stout has competed in various Jamboree competitions in years past, but most recently, he has served as a member of the "Jamboree House Band," a position he will resign with his new responsibilities with the festival. Stout was elected to the Jamboree board on February 2, and expressed an interest in the position of President and Coordinator with the Jamboree upon Barton's resignation.
In addition to his passion for music, Stout - still resides in Bloomington Springs – and works as Realtor in the Upper Cumberland area.