Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2005)
Chattanoogan Fletcher Bright (1931- ) has balanced a career as a successful businessman with a lifetime passion for traditional fiddle tunes. In the 1940s, he and classmates at McCallie School first got interested in country music, and they soon formed a bluegrass band called the Dismembered Tennesseans. As they all became prominent men in the city, they continued to keep the band going. Their spirited dedication, dry humor, and frequent public performances helped build local appreciation for bluegrass over the years. Outlasting most of his bandmates, Bright has continued to keep the Dismembered Tennesseans active with new players. In retirement, he’s redoubled his commitment to fiddling, also performing his large instrumental repertory with his Fletcher Bright Fiddle Band and remaining active as a teacher and participant in traditional music events around the country.