Musician Fred Scarboro reminisces with Hospice chaplain Lynn Kunkle. (Photos courtesy Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County.)

Sixty years later, musician Fred Scarboro still loves ‘Hula Dance’

Special to Iredell Free News

Fred Scarboro was a young man working in the middle of a cornfield in the late 1950s when inspiration hit.

Scarboro crafted the words — and then the tune — to a song he would title “Hula Dance” as the corn stalks towered over his head.

Fred Scarboro and The String Masters.

“I don’t know what possessed me to send it to a record company in Nashville,” the Statesville resident said. But he did, and in 1958 Golden State Songs released a 45 of “Hula Dance” by Fred Scarboro and the String Masters.

Now 93 years old, Scarboro is still amazed that the song he created more than 60 years ago was recorded – and can be played today on YouTube. He fondly recalled his memories of a life filled with music to his caregiving team from Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, while they were visiting with him at his home on Tuesday.

“It’s been a dream thing,” he said of Hula Dance. “I still think about it.”

“Hula Dance” was released in 1958.

Scarboro comes from a musical family, his niece Cheryl Higgins said. One of 12 siblings, the family would travel around and perform at area churches. Scarboro also played on the radio, including as a guest of Arthur Smith and Tommy Faile in Charlotte.

The String Masters would also play each morning at 10 a.m. on a Rockingham radio station between shifts at a textile mill, Scarboro recalled.

“We four boys really enjoyed ourselves,” he said.

Later in life, Cheryl said, Scarboro would volunteer to work with children, and he was always very giving of his time.

“They called him Uncle Fred,” she said. “He’s just a good sweet soul and always did what he could for others.”

Scarboro said music and hard work have brought joy to his life, and believes making a record was “truly like a dream.”

“I’ve had a good life,” he said. “The Lord’s been good to me.”

Scarboro listens to chaplain Aaron Macemore play the guitar.
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